"Indian food is terrible and we pretend it isn't," wrote a US-based professor, setting Indian cuisine lovers ablaze on Twitter.
US academic Tom Nichols replied to a tweet that asked for people’s “most controversial food opinions” and expressed his dislike for Indian food.
"Indian food is terrible and we pretend it isn't," he wrote. The tweet immediately got comments, many from angry Indian food-lovers as well as some retweets and likes from those who might agree.
Currently, the post has 2,100 retweets and 15,500 likes with countless replies, many of which are trolling Nichols.
Celebrity chef and host of the US cooking competition program Top Chef, Padma Lakshmi, @PadmaLakshmi asked: “Do you not have taste buds?”
One user, @rwa_ replied to Nichols’s post: “There's a difference between controversial and stupid.”
While tweep @Shade_Nox pointed out that Nichols’s statement was a generalisation: “Yes, an entire country's cuisine is so blanket awful everyone including the people from that country are simply pretending to like it, I'm sure that must be the case.”
Twitter user @IsabellaChatte3 highlighted the diversity of food from India: “LOL I'm Indian and have eaten hundreds of dishes but even I haven't discovered over 50 per cent of the cuisine.”
But Nichols seemed unfazed by the criticism and only made more controversial remarks.
“If Indian food is any indication, that’s the cuisine they’ll be serving on the way down,” he wrote in another tweet which was followed by, “The only two foods that I don't eat: Ethiopian and Indian. I'm pretty open about the rest of it.”
And the trolling continued. In typical Twitter fashion, users replied with memes and GIFS.
User @rain4estwhitaka shared a gif in response to Nichols.
Whereas, tweep @PatelSiddhant_ replied with a scene from the movie Joker.
While many joked about the comment, some took the opportunity to give a lesson to Nichols on cuisine in India. There were also those who found his remarks racist.
User @deepsealioness wrote: “Well there is no ‘Indian’ food. Also there is no curry flavour. There is no chai tea.”
Similarly, tweep @ishaantharoor highlighted how it is unsuitable to club all different kinds of dishes from India into one category: “Since we are all here now, think it’s worth reminding the less enlightened that “Indian” food, like ‘Chinese’ food, is as useful a rubric as ‘European’ food.”
Twitter user @dennismhogan thought Nichols’s comments were blatantly racist: “[…], my man thought the challenge was ‘say something super racist’.”
As the incident gained more attention in media and online, the hashtag #MyFavoriteIndianFood started trending on Twitter.
And you guessed it – people used it to share dishes from India they are most fond of.