How does one make pan dulce in the United Kingdom and simultaneously offend Mexican Twitter? It looks like the reality show The Great British Bake Off answered that question during what the series referred to as “Mexican Week.”
Currently in its 13th season, The Great British Bake Off teased its Mexican-inspired October 4 episode by tweeting a meme that mocked Mexican culture. In the meme, hosts Matt Lucas and Noel Fielding, who are both white, dressed in sarape ponchos and sombreros.
The dialogue printed on the meme included Fielding saying, “I don’t feel like we should make Mexican jokes because people will get upset.” Lucas responds with a question: “What, not even Juan?” Fielding responds: “Not even Juan.”
Earlier that morning, judge Prue Leith posted a photo of herself, fellow judge Paul Hollywood, Fielding and Lucas inviting everyone to join them for the episode.
The winner of the episode was Marie-Therese “Maxy” Maligisa, an architectural assistant from London, who impressed the judges with something she called “Bella Naranja” conchas. Some of the other pan dulce baked on the show included Coconut and Raspberry Besos, Cactus Conchas, and “Sweet Breads are Made of These” borrachitos.
Mexican Twitter had their own thoughts about the meme and the fact that British bakers were attempting to make pan dulce. One Twitter user wondered if their attempts would match those of celebrity chef Rachel Ray when she tried to make pozole.
Some didn’t pull any punches and called the meme exactly what they thought it was – racist.
At least one hoped Mexicans could get their revenge by putting boxer Canelo Alvarez in the ring with another less-than-capable British boxer.
Maybe a show on the Food Network will return the favor and get one of their chefs to bake a Rhubarb pie during “British Week” dressed like Austin Powers.