International trade minister Greg Hands has been given a quick education on the origins of some much-loved foreign food after a jibe about a German doner kebab shop backfired.
The Conservative MP for Chelsea and Fulham posted an image of German Doner Kebab – an international kebab shop with more than 20 branches in the UK – on Twitter, alongside the caption: “How long before we have German Fish & Chips?”
Now, as many people have been more than happy to point out, there are several glaring errors with Hands’ Brexit-esque outrage.
‘Doner’: invented by Turkish immigrant to Germany. Fish & Chips: introduced by Jewish refugees. Mr Hands: Minister for International Trade. https://t.co/rwV6jy7I35
October 23, 2017
The origin of the beloved doner kebab has been repeatedly linked to a Turkish immigrant living in Germany – not least by the Association of Turkish Doner Producers in Europe (who likely know a thing or two about it).
Mahmut Aygun was 16 when he moved to the country to open a snack stall in West Berlin in 1971. He had the inspired idea to serve grilled meat in a pitta, rather than with rice, so people could take their food with them. And so the dish was born.
At the time of Aygun’s death in 2009, the Telegraph reported that: “The subsequent popularisiation of the doner kebab in the UK led to many traditional fish and chip shops going bust” – which rolls neatly onto Hands’ next contradiction.
2. Fish and chips were brought here by migrants too
Hands’ tweet implies that such a monstrosity as fish and chips from Germany would be an insult to all the UK holds dear – but actually, the ‘traditional’ chippy tea was originally introduced here by Europeans fleeing persecution.
The humble chip is recognised as originating from Belgium or France, while fried fish was introduced to the UK by Jewish refugees from Portugal and Spain.
3. His job is literally about international trade
Many people have highlighted the irony that the international trade minister isn’t too clued up on trade that’s taken place internationally, or at least didn’t think to check before he tweeted about it.
How long before we have a Minister of State for International Trade who knows things about the world and/or its businesses? Sheesh.
Hands has since tweeted again to brag that “literally thousands of Lefties” have been going in on his comment and “seeking a wider putative meaning.”
This tweet this morning has kept literally thousands of Lefties occupied, seeking a wider putative meaning! https://t.co/meROGhgWpU
If it helps, Greg, I’m not a lefty and I think you made a complete fool of yourself.
“Lefties” have an issue with your blatant xenophobia. They are funny like that.