This week, the “Fiscal de Fiofó Alheio” trophy goes to the National Association of Baianas de Acarajé, Porridge, Receptive and Similar (Abam).
The Bahian women’s guild vehemently repudiated the initiative by Adriana Ferreira dos Santos, owner of Acarajé da Drica, to sell the pink-dyed cupcake –Barbie’s acarajé– on Salvador’s sacred ground.
“We emphasize that ACARAJÉ [assim mesmo, gritando] has inviolable specificities and continues to be preserved as Intangible Cultural Heritage and safeguarded by us, therefore, it is non-negotiable that its characteristics are changed”, says the Abam statement on Instagram.
Rita Santos, president of the entity, says that Drica is only concerned with making money, without observing culinary and religious traditions. What if it is? What is the problem? It’s forbidden? What does Ms. Rita have to do with this?
May the ABAM associates continue with their undoubtedly commendable work of preserving the Afro-Brazilian heritage of acarajé pots.
And that Drica and anyone else can fry fuchsia, green or cobalt blue acarajé in peace. If you don’t like it, just don’t buy it.
That Barbie wave is, in fact, annoying. I am bothered by the voluntary adherence of so many people to a colossal publicity campaign. I’m grumpy and a little old, but I think it’s funny who sees danger in the pink tide.
Barbie’s acarajé does not threaten any tradition. In a week or two, no one will remember him. Or maybe someone remembers, since Rita worked so hard to publicize it.
The unionized Bahians impute to Drica the role of heretic, something unfair and cruel.
Acarajé has long transcended the sphere of ritual food. It’s still there, but it also occupies totally mundane spaces. Botecos, to give an example.
Where was the Abam patrol when they invented the acaraburger? And the acarachurros? And the acaramaki? Did someone there try the patience of the chef who serves miniacarajés with baru vatapá from the cerrado?
Disguised as protection of tradition, the repudiation of official Bahians to acarabarbie is mere corporatism. President Rita fills her mouth to say that Drica sells “bean dumplings”, something unworthy of being called acarajé.
It’s in the same basket as the Neapolitan who wants to dictate to the world what pizza is. From the sushi chef who hides soy sauce from his clientele to protect them from committing atrocities against rice.
These people act as if the tradition were born ready and unchangeable. I keep thinking about the first Italian who decided to add spaghetti and tomatoes, how badly that unfortunate man must have been beaten.
Preserving tradition is top notch. Criticizing the rupture is legitimate. Working to thwart invention is reactionary.
Thus, the baianas do acarajé go hand in hand with the Christian fundamentalism that accuses the Barbie movie of corrupting, hum, non-negotiable values.
Finally, I leave a modest suggestion to Drica do acarajé. Serving Barbie’s acarajé with PINK shrimp (yes, screaming). It will super add value.
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