Cookbook typo: "salt and freshly ground black people"


53 Responses to “Cookbook typo: "salt and freshly ground black people"”

  1. Antinous / Moderator says:

    I worked with a nurse once who announced that her patient wouldn’t eat red meat but was fine with eating fish and children.

  2. IronyElemental says:

    All this hullabaloo over a single word. Nobody would’ve given it a second thought if they’d just said “ground people.”

  3. Phlip says:

    “How come you taste so good?” –Mick Jagger

  4. Felton says:

    It’s okay. I eat my chili with crackers.

  5. Joe says:

    My guess is that the typo for pepper was peoper; the o is next to the p on the keyboard. Then someone running a spell-checker accepted a proposed correction of peoper -> people, and didn’t bother to check the results.

    • Anonymous says:

      I thought that myself but my spell checker returned ‘proper’, ‘pepper’ and ‘peeper’ not people.

      • jackie31337 says:

        I tried it with Adobe Framemaker, which is notorious for bad/hilarious spell-check suggestions (I’m pretty sure it’s based on the soundex algorithm). “Pepper” was the second suggestion. “People” did not appear as a suggestion at all.

  6. Anonymous says:


  7. phisrow says:

    Damn racists. That line had better read “salt and freshly ground African-American people” in the reprint…

  8. semiotix says:

    Holy crap, was this the wrong time and place for the classic “I’m sorry you’re being such a fussy, prissy victim that you had to get offended over what I did or said” non-apology.

    “Freshly ground black people” is a forgivable typo; HOW DARE YOU SMALL-MINDED TWATS IMPUGN MY ALMIGHTY COOKBOOK means you’re just an asshole.

  9. Gutierrez says:

    I enjoy my pasta with fava beans and a nice Chianti.

  10. Giovanni says:

    For all the people trying to replicate the mistake, keep in mind they were likely using an australian dictionary which would yield different results than an american or even british dictionary.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Another reason to pirate books. Sleezey guys can’t even proof-read. And they expect us to pay for these things!

  12. lasttide says:

    To be fair, this is the pasta edition of the long-running “To Serve Man” line of cookbooks.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Interestingly worded press release that puts across the idea that you are ‘small-minded’ if you challenge what has happened. A good example of manipulating a situation to your advantage. Also, hasn’t it turned into a great marketing exercise for the book? I wonder how many extra copies they have sold now…

  14. dculberson says:

    It’s not racist to say that black people just taste better, is it? I mean, the truth is the truth, right?

  15. Crashproof says:

    Funny? Yes. Regrettable? Sure, yeah. Racist? Not really.

    • Terry says:

      You’re right. If it was racist, it would read something like:

      “salt and freshly ground white people. For a low-fat (but less flavorful) alternative, substitute ground black people.”

  16. kc0bbq says:

    You use white people when you’re making cream soups and want a nice, uniform appearance.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Since they didn’t have a proofreader actually check the book the first time, did they at least make sure that this wasn’t the recipe for Soylent Green before they changed the ingredients in the re-release?

  18. jere7my says:

    I could see this doing a lot of dawizard to Penguin Australia.

  19. The Mudshark says:

    Hmm…black people

  20. gobo says:

    The publisher could’ve handled this many ways, from apologizing to taking it in stride and having a sense of humor. Instead, they’re going to cause a shitstorm with this response. Well done.

    And no, it’s not too much to ask for a proofreader to catch a typo like this. “People”? Really? I haven’t done a ton of proofreading, but I’d think the word “people” in the ingredients list of a pasta recipe would stick out a wee bit while proofing.

    • PapayaSF says:

      I have done a ton of proofreading, and it’s harder than it seems. Old-style it was done with two people, one reading aloud while the other followed the text, but I doubt if anyone (other than perhaps legal publishers) does that any more. It’s very easy to miss one or two things. Partly it’s because your eye can often “correct” things: people reading a recipe expect to see “freshly ground black pepper” and so that’s what most of them will see. An excellent recent example is the Chilean coin where the country was spelled “CHIIE.” In all caps it’s very close visually to the correct spelling, and it was in circulation for nearly two years before it was noticed. (Of course, there’s no excuse for poor proofreading of something with just a few words on it.)

      • Diamond Jim says:

        I’m an editor at a legal publisher, and I can assure you we don’t proofread the old-school way, with a proofreader reading aloud to a copyholder. The last time I did that (as I think I said in some other thread not so long ago, heaven help me) was back in my law review days, some time during the Cenozoic Era.

        Roach @33, thanks. You’ve saved me from making the same point rather more intemperately.

  21. Lobster says:

    Before we condemn this “typo,” has anyone actually tried following the recipe as listed? It might be delicious.

  22. Anonymous says:

    “Proofreading a cookbook is an extremely difficult task”? Pull the other one, Bob, it’s got bells on.

    Funniest typo ever, though.

  23. rootchick says:

    Yum! Must be a recipe for Soylent Chow!

  24. DJBudSonic says:

    NOW they tell me it’s a typo!

  25. Anonymous says:

    I believe the typo must have been peopre because the o us next to P and sometimes people are in a rush and mix e and r around, then the spell check dictionary says people, then pepper…

  26. thecheat says:

    My wife works at a facility that takes care of people with severe development disabilities. One of her coworkers was typing a letter to the board of directors and signed it “Best Retards” instead of Regards and mailed it.

  27. Shaddack says:

    When I was younger, errors in books were handled by including an errata sheet, a leaflet with list of errors. If it is good enough for reference books and engineering tables, why it should not be good enough for a cookbook?

  28. Metronicity says:

    Talking of typos…if you don’t LOL at some of these then you really are a humorless —–

  29. aml says:

    I’m afraid that proofreading at most organizations has turned into “once all the red squiggles are gone. We’re done.”

  30. Anonymous says:

    Too late. I already went on eBay and bought a people grinder. It’ll be here next week.

  31. Thad E Ginataom says:

    Oh, this is just dreadful. One of the most horrific and offensive mistakes I have ever seen in a book.

    I don’t think anything, short of tracking down every copy, and ensuring that it is destroyed, can be good enough here.

    I am absolutely fed up with this increasing ignorance of the hyphen. People, it should read:

    Freshly-ground black people

  32. Ed Wilson says:

    I’m a black woman and I think this is just hilarious, especially dculberson’s comment.

    I’m going to take it as an honest mistake. Besides, everyone knows Filipinos are the most premium meat…

    Just sayin’…


  33. spotrh says:

    Original cookbook title: “To Serve Man”

  34. Drew from Zhrodague says:

    That sounds soul soylent.

  35. lewis stoole says:

    i prefer freshly ground pecker, it just tastes better

  36. Anonymous says:

    I have a hard time believing it’s just a typo. I could accept that if it were one letter off (like the ‘regards/retards’ mix-up above), but to get from ‘pepper’ to ‘people’???

  37. danimagoo says:

    peopre returns people, at least with the spell checker in Open Office

  38. yclipse says:

    This was not a typo. “Best retards” was a typo. This one looks like deliberate sabotage.

  39. Mitch says:

    Better leave the recipes for faggots and gravy out of the cookbook, too.

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