Roti sold as ‘Asian flat croissant’ for ‘fun,’ and people aren’t happy about it

That ‘Asian flat croissant’ by NyonyaCooking.com. Photo: Nyonya Cooking/Facebook
That ‘Asian flat croissant’ by NyonyaCooking.com. Photo: Nyonya Cooking/Facebook

A food website got deep fried online today for anglicizing the name of a beloved Southeast Asian dish.

As soon as food site Nyonya Cooking yesterday published a recipe for roti canai or roti prata and called it “The Asian Flat Croissant,” the crispy comments started pouring in from passionate Malaysian and Singaporean foodies vexed by the apparent “white-washing.” Malaysians call the crispy dough delicacy originating from India canai while Singaporeans call it prata. 

The name was deliberately given to the crispy dough delicacy as part of a “marketing” strategy to make it more “relatable” to new audiences, according to a response by the page to one commentator left flat by the move.

“We just want to make a fun title for our marketing content to make it more relatable for our audiences who are not familar (sic) with words such as canai, prata, parotta or paratha.”

The Facebook post had been reshared more than 250 times as of Monday morning. 

The comment drawing the most interest was by user C Wern Hong, who told the publisher to just “maintain the name” of the original.

“Please la …  though your recipe is good, please do not give a European name (I hope there is no whitewashing intention) … just maintain the original name… you don’t call ‘a pizza’, a ‘European naan’ right? Just maintain the name..otherwise, love your pages,” the comment read. 

The content publisher is being put on Twitter blast as well. has been retweeted at least 6,000 times since this morning. 

Calling the dish “Asian flat croissant,” was “enraging” news to @Hellenus, who said in a message retweeted thousands of times by people mocking Nyonya Cooking’s rebranding.

@FzDanial showed a French croissant and mockingly captioned it: “French bloated roti canai.”

Roti prata and canai are crispy, fluffy and oily flatbread usually eaten with side dishes like curry and chili paste or sambal.

Nyonya Cooking had originally published the recipe in 2016 but promoted it anew yesterday under its new, “fun” name. Guess the marketing strategy has paid off?

 

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