Spice Guy: Jay Rayner Shames U.S. for Cinnabomb


First they had a problem with our English breakfasts being too healthy (by “healthy,” they meant lacking in deep-fried toast). Then they complained that all of New York had gone soft because we have a Whole Foods on The Bowery. The latest food-related attack from the Brits comes from none other than Top Chef Masters judge and Guardian/Observer food critic Jay Rayner, who has accused the U.S.A. of grossly overusing cinnamon.

“What the hell is it with Americans and cinnamon? Or as I prefer to put it, BLOODY SODDING CINNAMON. They cannot get enough of the stuff. It is everywhere and on everything,” he complains, citing our nation’s worst offenders: Starbucks and, um, Cinnabon. He then goes on to rant about all the cinnamon recipes he found online (albeit from the same website), then scoffs at fellow TCM judge James Oseland for having dedicated an issue of Saveur to the spice.

Is it our craving for the homey? Rayner asks. Our tendency for “emotional incontinence”? Our mommy and daddy issues? Not sure what to tell you, Jay. Perhaps you should rant against Indians for their love of turmeric or the Chinese for their ginger addiction. Certainly, there are more deplorable — or even annoying — aspects of the American diet to lambaste than our propensity for a little sweet spice. And, frankly, until Brits puts an end to the globs of mayo spooned so gratuitously on every sandwich and salad, they should probably keep their sweet mouths shut.