Anyone who talks about cultural appropriation cannot be silent about minced meat. Or is there a meatball that feels disrespected by the CevapCici?
It’s all in the mix. If you like good cultural products, you should not despise the meat grinder Photo: imago/Chromorange
Wrong sushi? "Disrespect!" says Lena Dunham. The creator of the TV series "Girls" thinks it’s right that people who use fake ingredients in sushi are called "cultural appropriators." Wrong sushi, she says, disrespects the cuisines of other cultures.
When my neighbors on the Dalmatian coast hear what Lena Dunham says about the wrong sushi, they will immediately make "I love Lena" shirts. These are those neighbors who claim about everything possible in their kitchen that no one in the world knew before. For example, the correct use of salt.
And it is those neighbors who protest against the fact that the series "Game of Thrones" is filmed in Dubrovnik because the sex scenes do not respect the historical setting of Dubrovnik. It is those neighbors who do not feel exploited by their own employer who does not even pay them minimum wage. It’s those neighbors who feel culturally exploited because someone wraps the seaweed wrong or salts the bean stew wrong.
It’s people who justified a bloody civil war by saying their culture is being exploited. And this despite the fact that their country has disintegrated because some and others claimed to be the real inventors of CevapCici and Šljivovic.
What are the Tatars saying?
Where are actually the indignant ones who accuse Burger, CevapCici & Co. of cultural appropriation from the Tatars? After all, it was they who first came up with the idea of strapping the meat under their saddles to ride it flat and then chop it into small pieces. Do the Tatars also sit at the table in the evening and lament that today only fake minced meat is in circulation?
Today, of course, the tourist goes to the Croatian because he wants to eat CevapCici. However, CevapCici typically come from Sarajevo, that is, from Bosnia.
The fact that the restaurants "Dalmacija", "Adria-Grill" or "Dubrovnik", where you go to eat CevapCici, are often not even run by Croats, but by Bosnians, Macedonians or Serbs, is of no interest.
In the end, we are all CevapCicis.
Who exactly of the Icis invented the fried sausages does not matter at all to the restaurant owners. They take it sportingly: whoever wants CevapCici, shall get CevapCici. "In the end, we are all CevapCicis," say the Ivos and Zorans, who live off the tourists who want CevapCici, whether they are roasted by a Bosnian or a Croat, whether they are seasoned with rose paprika or thyme.
The main thing is that there are three Cs on the menu in a very small space and the name of the waiter and the dish ends in ic.
The tourist has it good. He can find restaurants all over the world where he can order CevapCici. He just has to pronounce it differently: Kottbullar, Kofte, Burger, Bulette, Frikadelle, Kohlroulade, Lasagne, Meatloaf, Klops, Moussaka, Bolognese, Chili con carne, Minced meat in tacos, Minced meat in pelmeni, Minced meat in tortellini, Minced meat in paprikas, Minced meat in pork bellies, Minced meat rolls wrapped with pork bellies.
And because of that, has anyone ever thought of saying, "Disrespect! The meatball does not respect the cuisine of CevapCicis!". Or "The moussaka is the cultural appropriation of the meatball"?
Minced meat is a worldwide success. So anyone who wants to talk about cultural appropriation cannot remain silent about minced meat. Minced meat is the symbol of the fact that only what has once been put through the meat grinder is successful. It’s the mixture that makes it. And not the purity.