A Norwich restaurant has removed a sauce named ‘Cotton Pickin’ from its menu following accusations of “racism”.
Osa Odeh, 39, raised concerns that the term was associated with slavery in the southern states of America, after seeing it on the menu at Mambo Jambo. Odeh told restaurant staff he had concerns about the sauce and explained the “racist associations of the phrase”. The customer said he felt “some thought [had] gone into the name putting it next to the word black, but there hasn’t been enough thought on the implications”.
Mambo Jambo said it was shocked at the accusations over the black pepper sauce which it says has bared the same name for 25 years. The restaurant said its whole ethos was based around being opposed to racism, with its food inspired by Texas and Tennessee despite its website claiming it serves “Latin American and Mexican cuisine”. Mambo Jambo said it employed “diverse staffing and recruitment”.
A member of staff at Mambo Jambo told Catering Today they were “not allowed to comment” on the issue.
Odeh welcomed the sauce’s removal and said he was “pleased the restaurant has acknowledged my concerns”. His party of friends however cancelled their booking and decided to dine elsewhere with one of Odeh’s friends commenting that he didn’t believe the slur was intentional, “it’s what I would call casual racism, there’s some ignorance there”.