What Makes an “Exotic” Flavor?

Just because it’s exotic for you, it doesn’t have to be for everyone else

Adam K
One Table, One World

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Photo by Chad Montano on Unsplash

I was listening to the radio the other day and heard a chicken wing shop advertisement talking about the variety of flavors they had at their shop.

They started by introducing the traditional flavors all chicken wing shops have (buffalo, garlic chili, bbq, etc.), then they went into the “exotic flavors” they had for the adventurous people.

Siracha honey chicken wings were on their menu of exotic flavors.

How is this an exotic flavor? Who is this flavor exotic for?

It can’t be exotic for the Asian American listeners of the program. Saracha is a sauce we put on everything from sandwiches to meat dishes. Sandwiches with a bit of saracha sauce. Fried chicken with saracha. Pizza with saracha. Noodles with saracha. Anything savory can go well with a generous amount of saracha on top of it.

How can anyone eat anything without a bit of spice on it?

This advertisement may have been well-meaning, but it is obviously directed toward a specific audience who didn’t grow up with Asian flavors and mouth-numbing sauces.

It’s totally fine to direct your advertisement towards a specific audience, but maybe it can be done without “other-ing” a group of people and calling their very normal flavors “exotic”.

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Adam K
One Table, One World

Follower of Jesus. Husband. Father of two. Missionary. Foodie. Mdiv. Searching for a space to share, learn and grow.