Korean restaurant stirs controversy for labeling least spicy food 'white'

A Korean restaurant in Toronto is under fire for their menu. It began circulating online after Reddit user peternok shared a photo on the site:

The non-spicy option at my local Korean place from mildlyinteresting

"The non-spicy option at my local Korean place," they explained; it has a white pepper and is called "white."

The photo soon went viral on the site and started a heated conversation over whether the menu was racist. Some argued that it was not a big deal. "I'm a white guy and I'm sick of all the jokes on reddit being about everyone else's race," one commenter said. "I'd love to hear a solid white people joke."

"I frequently hear my white friends complain about getting their food 'White people spicy' instead of 'real spicy,'" someone else said.

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According to a Korean speaker, "white" had nothing to do with a customer's race: "The Korean characters to the right would translate to the color white, not white people, which is a different word (백인)."

They continued, "In Korean culture the color white is associated with purity, in this case the implication would be 'without any, or very little spice of any kind.'"

Some agreed and said that it was just a wrong explanation. "It's actually just a bad translation," one commenter noted. "A way to say nonspicy in korean can be directly translated to "white", as in not red, not 'white' as in skin color."

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