@tsengputterman - food belongs to whoever bought it

The best thing about colonialism, and there are so many things to choose from, is that it spread the superior British/Dutch (and to a far lesser extent German/French/Spanish) concept of property to the dark parts of the world that were worse off without it.

Which means, on the pedantic level expressed in the post title, we now properly understand that the person who bought the food is the owner of it. 

Well, that was quick as posts go. Don't forget to subscribe to our email and...oh, right...of course, the stupid anticolonialism folks aren't talking about food in that sense, they're talking in a much more global sense. Who owns, say, jerk chicken?

Which in a way is just them being pedantic. Who owns jerk chicken? Nobody, because "jerk chicken" is a concept rather than an actual physical item (like, say, the jerk chicken I made from scratch using a recipe from a Company's Coming cookbook: Jean Pare owns the copyright on the book, I own the physical book, and I own the physical jerk chicken up until the point where the people at my BBQ ate it in which case they took ownership), and concepts don't have owners.

To wit, the notion of an "invisible hand" is (mostly properly) credited to Adam Smith. However, the idea that he invented/popularized isn't owned by him. The book might have been, the text might have been, but the idea wasn't: the moment that somebody read and internally conceptualized it, the concept spread forth and became in essence public domain. Likewise Jerk Chicken. It doesn't matter who invented it other than a piece of historical footnote, anymore than it's important to remember that the Daiquiri was invented by a specific human we can point to (Jennings Cox). [fun aside, both were adapted from the Taino Indians who were previously in Cuba and Jamaica... -ed]

I can serve a daiquiri in my restaurant without having to share some imagined connection with Cox based on us (presumably) sharing a skin colour and (unlikely) sharing a national origin. Yet Miss Putterman thinks otherwise: she referenced "ownership" as if there was some sort of pennance that should/could be paid to her ancestors who invented...checks notes...Peking Duck. Well I can also serve Peking Duck, I could even call it "authentic original Peking Duck" while putting on blatantly not-found-anywhere-near-Peking ingredients in it (say, Saskatoons) and have it be so popular that it puts the Chinese-owned Chinese restaurant next to me out of business. That's what we call...just something that happens.

After all, one of the things about food is that celebrating the food doesn't particularly reflect on anything else: Turkish (or Lebanese, or even Greek according to preference) food's worldwide popularity doesn't generally align with some sort of Turciaphilic cultural aim. "Turks are jerks" can be uttered while you suck back a Hünkar Beğendi, the same as you can enjoy a couple Taco Bell Grandito's and then wish those lazy Mexicans would stop importing their garbage Latin culture. You can enjoy perogies while enacting internment camps in WWI, have some sushi while not getting worked up about the equally justifiable internment camps in WWII, and feel confident that your most recent trip to Barb and Ernie's didn't mean you supported the Third Reich. Good food is just that, good food. Large numbers of rural Albertans signed onto the wok craze of the late 1960s, support for the (retroactively looking even wiser) Chinese Head Tax was generally unaffected.

Likewise food that is "othered". Alberta has a very significant Scandinavian population, as does Saskatchewan. If you can find a Swedish or Norwegian restaurant (IKEA Kitchen doesn't count!) in either province than all the power to you. Lots of Leb kebob places though. It's almost like a donair tastes better than lefse. After all, isn't it weird that the meat is so smooth on that big rotating stick is still more appetizing than no I don't want to hear what steps come after "first you soak the fish in lye, the semi-toxic chemical we make soap out of". We "other" food when it's disgusting, not when we like or dislike the populace. As noted above, the British Empire was perhaps the greatest human institution ever created, and we would be better off if 1886 England was the pinnacle our own civilization endlessly strove to be more like. On the other hand, British cuisine is so notoriously undesirable that really the only countries they have to insult are Germany and Australia.

If some enterprising negro made a "Lutefisk" that wasn't soaked in (again, semi-toxic!) lye for days and made the thing somehow edible, yes it wouldn't be "authentic" lutefisk in the same way that poutine with lobster meat and bechamel sauce isn't "authentic". (though as an aside, "Italian poutine" with meatsauce and cheddar cheese was being sold at La Belle Province in the early 80s, so even in its heartland they didn't get so worked up over it). Any Dane whose blood boiled that a nonwhite was making Lutefisk "wrong" should probably be committed to a home: to paraphase President Monkey, he didn't build it.

We can (and should) "include" some cultures and not others. We can (and should) "include" some cuisines and not others. These may or may not line up according to taste, and what we certainly should never do is apologize for doing so. It is, in every sense, the right thing to do.

Besides, the best Chinese food ever is ginger beef and those were invented just a couple hours south on the QE2...