Cambridgeshire

Cambridge college debates 'culturally misrepresentative' dishes

Pembroke College Image copyright Robert Edwards/Geograph
Image caption Pembroke College, Cambridge where students seem very particular about the authenticity of their canteen's menus.

A Cambridge college has got into a bit of a stew after serving up ethnic dishes criticised by students as "cultural misrepresentations".

Scholars at Pembroke College used social media to criticise menu options such as "Jamaican Stew" and "Tunisian Rice" on the grounds they did not exist in their native countries.

"Show me where in the Caribbean they mix fruit and meat," said one comment.

The college said it would examine if any dishes were not well named.

The complaints were first revealed in the Sunday Times following criticisms on a student Facebook site called Grudgebridge.

One comment said: "Dear Pembroke catering staff, Stop mixing mango and beef and calling it 'Jamaican Stew', it's rude."

College bursar Andrew Cates said the college had received no formal complaint from students and the comments made on the student web page contained a "certain style and humour".

He added, they routinely received feedback but "would be going through the dishes on the menu to see if any are ones that are not very well named."

"As a ­college which prides itself on the high standard of our cuisine and wants all our students of diverse backgrounds to feel a valued part of our community, we encourage our catering staff to take the views of any of our students seriously."

The percentage of students at Pembroke College from non-UK backgrounds amounts to between 25% and 30%.

The college was recently in the spotlight after a student was allegedly filmed burning a £20 note in front of a homeless man.

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