In a ceremony televised on Fox News and the Food Network, the New Yorker’s “roving food correspondent” Helen Rosner was awarded the 2018 “I Was Told by AppleCare” prize for Unapologetic Whiteness.
In a story titled, “Yes, I Use a Hair Dryer to Make Roast Chicken” (which insinuates that at least one person asked her, “What the fuck did you just do?”), Rosner shared her Chicken à la Wypipo recipe with the readers of the New Yorker, known for its unfunny cartoons and other stuff I would list right now if I weren’t black or had ever read a copy of the 93-year-old hallmark of highbrow East Coast sophistication. (To be fair, I’m sure I’ve probably perused a copy of the New Yorker in a doctor’s office, on a plane or during a vulnerable time in my life when I tried to commit suicide by boring myself to death.)
Before diving into her Caucasian chicken concoction, Rosner noted that neither taste, juiciness nor tenderness was her main concern. She revealed that her predominant poultry consideration was the dryness of the skin, ending her explanation with a collection of words that may go down in the annals of history as the most melaninless sentence ever written:
I happen to care, above all else, about achieving a shatteringly crispy skin, which means that I need to get rid of as much water from my chicken skin as possible. Which is why my roast chicken recipe, naturally, involves a hair dryer.
I don’t even know what that means. If you gave me 1,028,393 guesses at ways to unmoisturize a chicken, first I’d ask you what strain of weed you were smoking. Then I’d ask you how much it cost and where you purchased it from. But after exhausting myself of marijuana-related queries, I still wouldn’t guess that a hair dryer was involved in your yardbird shenanigans.
While I was outraged that her recipe contained not one mention of Lawry’s Seasoned Salt (she used kosher salt instead), I was pleased to see that she called for “unsalted seasonings and spices, to taste.”
I come from a long line of Southern cooks who don’t use measuring tools or cookbooks, so I feel qualified to say that “unsalted seasonings and spices” is not an ingredient. This is not even a recipe! Anyone can call themselves a chef or “roving food correspondent” if their ingredients list is simply “stuff that makes food taste good.”
Perhaps this is why white people’s chicken tastes like an Excel spreadsheet. Maybe they consider oxygen an “unsalted seasoning.” I’ve read, perhaps it was in the New Yorker, that “happiness is the spice of life.” Maybe wypipo season their chicken with joy.
But the whiteness comes not only from the recipe or the fact that she uses a hair dryer: Even though I can’t comprehend the caucasity of thinking, as she puts it—“A hair dryer is less cumbersome and perfect for getting the hard-to-reach moist spots inside the cavity, and in the damp little chicken armpits where the wings and legs meet the body”—I can grasp the concept. Rather, it is which hair dryer she uses that blows my mind: Rosner uses the Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer, which can be purchased for the low retail price of $399.99. “The Dyson is faster and gentler,” she says, which explains everything. I have always wondered why people treat dead birds so callously and ungently before they stick them in the oven.
Presented by last year’s winner, Ashleeeeeeee K. Thomas, Rosner accepted her award by thanking the people who made this all possible, including her family, her friends and everyone who refused to tell her that her chicken tasted like a piece of whole wheat toast covered with a thin layer of Pantene shampoo and conditioner.
“I’m just proud to be nominated,” said Rosner as she pulled out her Dyson to dry the tears running down her face. She selflessly took the time to thank her fellow nominees, who included:
- the inventor of the avocado toast cocktail
- Taylor Swift, for her Taylor Swift-ness
- the entire state of Florida
- the family who invited a live alligator to a gender-reveal party
- Tucker Carlson for White People’s Design Flaw
When asked where she would display her award, Rosner said that she planned to grind it up and use it as an unsalted seasoning.