CNN has again raised hackles in Taiwan over its food reporting, with some people complaining that the network’s list of the “world’s 50 most delicious foods” did not include any Taiwanese dishes.
“What we have seen on the list are ice cream, donuts and potato chips — junk food probably favored by CNN reporters,” the Taipei-based Broadcasting Corporation of China said.
The No. 41 entry on the CNNGo Web site was stinky tofu, which was described as “one of Southeast Asia’s most iconic foods,” but in the comments at the end of the list, one person argued that “stinky tofu is Taiwan’s food not Southeast Asia’s.”
Other netizens said the list reflected the writers’ limited knowledge of good food.
“Good food is just good food to enjoy, not to rate,” someone called Eric commented. The listing of stinky tofu as a Southeast Asian food is “a glaring mistake,” he said.
On the CNNGo list, Massaman curry from Thailand was ranked as the tastiest food in the world.
Neapolitan pizza from Italy, chocolate from Mexico, sushi from Japan and Peking duck from China were ranked second, third, fourth and fifth on the list.
CNNGo has been the source of some controversy in Taiwan in recent months.
In April, it listed Taipei as the most gluttonous city in Asia, prompting Government Information Office (GIO) Minister Philip Yang (楊永明) to ask the GIO’s Department of International Information to lodge a complaint with CNN. At the time, Yang said the bright side to the incident was that the government would use it to boost international recognition of Taiwanese gourmet and culinary culture.
Late last month, a report on century eggs by an American on the local Taiwanese delicacy, known as pi dan (皮蛋) in Taiwan, was included in a list of “the world’s most revolting food.”
The report also drew ire from a number of Taiwanese food critics and gastronomists, saying the report undervalued the nature of the dish.
In response, CNN posted a statement on its Web site on July 8 about the issue.
“This article was not meant to offend in any way anyone who likes century eggs, anyone who dislikes century eggs, any century egg manufacturers, anyone who works in the manufacturing or serving of century eggs and especially Chinese culture,” said Andrew Demaria, CNNGo’s editor-in-chief. “We apologize unreservedly for any offense the article has inadvertently caused.”
The article’s author Danny Holwerda also later penned a letter to the Taipei Times, saying that CNN added his article to a special section about the world’s most disgusting foods on its own initiative. He added he meant no disrespect to Taiwanese or their culture.
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