American comedian Steve Shainman has found fame on TikTok for his hilarious ‘culinary’ videos. Among his greatest hits are recreations of popular national dishes.
This week, however, Shainman triggered the collective ire of Jamaicans for ‘bastardising’ ackee and saltfish.
In his version of the iconic dish, posted to TikTok from his @scubeskitchen page on Saturday (June 4), Shainman parodied several of the island’s national dish ingredients, taking ‘creative liberties’ in the preparation and presentation of the gastronomical abomination.
With the instrumental of Jamaica’s national anthem playing in the background, Shainman starts off by “seasoning” fresh tilapia with rum, salt and pepper.
The saltfish in the culinary delicacy is salted cod.
The fake chef, seemingly unable to source ackee for his dish, then resorted to using scrambled eggs—and later garnished the finished meal with slices of ripe banana, escallion and “Jamaican oregano”.
As the reactions continue to unfold, @scubeskitchen has already received over 290,000 views for the ackee and saltfish parody.
@scubeskitchen National food of Jamaica 🇯🇲. #fyp #foryou ♬ Jamaica Anthem (Jamaica, Land We Love) – National Anthems Orchestra
It’s not his first time parodying national dishes, as Shainman has done his own versions of meals synonymous with Wales, Portugal, Poland, Mexico, Germany, Slovakia, Iran, Turkey, India, Sweden, Russia, Italy, United States, France, Ireland, Australia, and Canada.
The ‘joke’ was lost on many Jamaicans on social media, who, while noticing that the post was not meant to be taken literally, still wanted ‘charges’ laid against the American somehow.
“Where is the salted fish? Where is the plantains? Where is the ackee?” replied user @vanessasankar22 on TikTok.
Another user, @deebestest2, setting the timeline alight, said she got the joke and purposefully liked the video so TikTok’s algorithm would put the meal on the radar of Jamaicans, which it succeeded.
“!!Apology video with tears NOW!!” added @happymelons23.