Anti-Semitic Vegeterian Barbecue Sauce?

Hmm, this ain't a classic vinegar sauce.

Hmm, this ain't a classic vinegar sauce.

A few weeks ago we received the inset photo from Joel Haas, a Raleigh-based sculptor and author of the recent novel Adlerhof, which he describes as a story about “NC Jews, race riots, cats, Nazis, naked women, money and asparagus.”  (I’ll leave it to the readers to decide if the world really needs yet another book about Nazis, naked women and asparagus.)

Joel writes: “My first encounter with Asia (southern Taiwan) was in late 2004 when I went to the city of Kaohsiung to represent the USA in the International Steel Sculpture Festival.  Riding in from the airport to the Kaohsiung harbor, I was reminded that the Nazis and Hitler had appropriated one of the great Buddhist symbols for peace and long life, the swastika.  A towering Buddhist temple, built much like a 1950s skyscraper, loomed before me, its 15 foot high swastikas on all four sides lit with spotlights.”  Interesting stuff, Joel, but what’s it got to do with this “barbecue” sauce?    

“Back home in the USA,” Joel explains, “my wife and I took to haunting the Grand Asia Market over in South Hills in Raleigh for authentic Taiwanese foods.  It was here I found what is a startling contradiction in both taste and concept for an American–vegetarian barbecue sauce in a can covered with swastikas.” 
 
Rest easy, NC barbecue fans, as this sauce is actually intended for Asian hot pot cooking.  However, at only $3 a can, in a pinch this sauce might make a decent substitute for classic vinegar & hot pepper sauces found at barbecue joints across the state.  But between the swastika and, redundantly, the word “vegetarian,” I think I’ll pass. After all, there is some evidence Hitler was a vegeterian (though not a particularly dedicated one, it seems).
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One Response

  1. It’s also a famous symbol in Indian culture when shown counter-clockwise, as on that can. Remember, the Nazi version was pointing clockwise, not counter-clockwise.

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