When Stuart Lynn decided to go to a local Indian restaurant and asked for venison curry to be prepared mild, he was shocked to see that his receipt was marked with “VERY MILD, WHITE PPL”.
There’s a common stereotype, known especially to people whose native cuisine is very spicy, that many white people have a lower tolerance for spicy food:
But in an interview about the incident, Lynn made sure to let everyone know that he can, in fact, handle spicy curry:
‘It implies we can’t deal with strong curries. I do like a hot curry sometimes. I just fancied a mild one for a change. I thought it was very rude of them.
‘It was the first time I’ve been in there and I won’t be going back.’
The owner of the restaurant apologized for the ‘misunderstanding’ and offered an explanation that doesn’t really make any sense:
“Under white ppl, we don’t mean white people, but a white sauce made from milk, single cream, coconut milk and spices we add to our dishes when a curry is requested mild.
“‘Ppl’ means ‘milk.’
“However, we have decided to change the way we inform the kitchen and will mention ‘add white ppl’ or ‘with white sauce’ to avoid any confusion with our customers.
She wouldn’t explain how ‘ppl’ meant milk so it seems more like she was just trying to cover it up. Perhaps past experiences have warranted the need to distinguish Indian people mild from white people mild; they certainly aren’t the first restaurant to acknowledge that brown people and white people have different spiciness scales. If you’re white and you like your Asian food spicy, remember to specify that you want it brown people spicy.