Former England footballer Rio Ferdinand has unwittingly sparked a cross-border food fight after suggesting that a rice dish was Singaporean, to the horror of Indonesians who claim it as their own.
Ferdinand made the food faux pas during a weekend trip to watch the Singapore Grand Prix, when he tweeted a picture of himself holding a plate of the dish next to the comment: “Nasi goreng lunch.. Keeping it local in #Singapore”.
“Nasi goreng”, which literally translates as “fried rice” in Indonesian, generally consists of rice mixed with a sweet sauce and other ingredients such as chilli, vegetables and chicken, and often topped with a fried egg. But the suggestion that the dish was not Indonesian caused horror in the archipelago, which is one of Singapore’s neighbours, and sparked a flood of angry tweets.
“M8, its Indonesian food, actually. There’s no ‘nasi’ and ‘goreng’ in Singapore,” Agung Prasetyo tweeted at Ferdinand, while others invited the former Manchester United player to their homes to try a dish of real, Indonesian ‘nasi goreng’.