Over the years, Neiman Marcus, the Dallas, Texas-based luxury department store, has never shied away from jacking up the prices on everyday goods. But now, marking the company's latest attempt to pry a few extra bucks out of its customer's hands, Neiman Marcus may have finally gone too far.
Earlier this week, the department store began selling its own take on collard greens, a staple of home-style cooking that's more recently found its way onto restaurant tables around the country. But while a can of collards might typically cost a dollar or two at the grocery store, Neiman Marcus wants customers to pay $66—plus an extra $15.50 for shipping—for four 12-ounce trays of frozen vegetables.
Unlike your grandmother, who has clearly been doing it wrong all these years, Neiman Marcus' collard greens come with "just the right amount of spices and bacon." Conveniently, the item is now listed as sold out and "not available" since the controversy began swirling around online this week.
On Twitter, people were incredulous over "collard green-gate," almost unable to believe that a store would charge a grand total of $81.50 for a dish families have been affordably cooking up for a century.
Though it's easy to poke fun at another gaffe from a major brand, the appropriation of historically African-American dishes for profit is nothing new.
“If we want to avoid cultural appropriation we have to speak in terms of respecting the people, and respecting the tenets and vibe of their culture,” the culinary historian Michael Twitty told First We Feast earlier this year. “A lot of people miss that part. It’s more than just ingredients—its identity, history, social politics. It’s never ‘just about the food.’”
[via Grub Street]