In addition to trying to crack down on Halloween costumes and Christmas celebrations, social justice warriors have also made the chopped cheese sandwich a cause celebre.
For most of this year, they’ve been making the case that the Harlem classic has been culturally appropriated. Now, Whole Foods is selling the sandwich for $8, prompting not just outrage over not just culinary appropriation but also “gentrification” and “Columbusing.”
The debate kicked off in February, when an Insider video featured the chopped cheese sandwich. Its white reporter extolled its affordability and ground-beefy, cheesy, oniony glory and bemoaned how “most New Yorkers don’t even know it exists.”
A viral (and NSFW) YouTube video responded, slamming Insider’s feature of the chopped cheese sandwich as “modern-day social Columbus syndrome.” The debate exploded online, even catching the attention of the New York Times, which repeated claims that “discovery” of the chopped cheese sandwich was culinary cultural appropriation.
But despite the publicity, chopped cheese-defending SJWs are losing, if this week’s Whole Foods news is any indication: Whole Foods not only sold an $8 version of the sandwich—they sold it from a cart at NYC’s Columbus Circle, emblazoned with a ship and the date 1492.
Holy shit they're selling chopped cheeses at Whole Foods. pic.twitter.com/pvdpA3HyZi
— Mitch Goldstein (@mgoldstein) December 19, 2016
The Internet did not take the news well.
This is gentrification inception, whole foods chopped cheese out of a Christopher Columbus cart. Sounds about white. https://t.co/dhOJr6wZ4F
— Lil intro vert (@Harambhai) December 19, 2016
if anybody support the whole foods chopped cheese genocide lmk so i can block ya shiftless ass https://t.co/wi8NuDxYV0
— Yule Log Papi (@mnmhw) December 20, 2016
Looking at that Whole Foods chopped cheese like pic.twitter.com/zM7OsQLLs7
— Steph BMore (@StephBMore) December 20, 2016
You cannot gentrify a chopped cheese @WholeFoods
— Lex (@ciao_lex) December 20, 2016
Whole Foods sellin $8 chopped cheese @ a cart named "1492"
— Andrew J. Padilla (@apadillafilm6) December 20, 2016
— Pantaleon (@gaia417) December 21, 2016
— katie honan (@katie_honan) December 19, 2016
— jamesy (@JAMESYNYC) November 27, 2014
— donatella (@badgalbrybryy) December 21, 2016