published about 9 hours ago
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I was a bit skeptical at first about the IYKYK Shaker Set from the Asian food brand Omsom. The salt, pepper, and MSG three-piece shaker set was cute, but seemed a little redundant for my kitchen since I already have all three.
In fact, my DIY MSG shaker is a repurposed Kirkland spice container, arguably the most Asian kitchenware out there. I keep it within reach for spice rubs, fried rice, gravy, popcorn, and more, but I certainly don’t give it any visible counter space. It serves its purpose as a secret weapon, a little boost of “umami dust” that I can sprinkle over anything that needs a little oomph.
But it wasn’t until I flipped the box that I really started to understand the heart of this set. There are suggestions for use for those new to MSG, but there is also a brief but important history of the racist roots and misinformation spread about this misunderstood seasoning. It’s a biting reminder for those of us exposed to anti-Asian sentiments, and potentially an eye opener for those who haven’t.
The launch of this limited-time product isn’t just about taste (which is great), but about making a “proud and loud” statement. This is not kitchenware – this is crockery. The graphically rugged, solid beechwood shakers made by Areaware were: designed for you to take note. As a millennial, Asian-American and double Taurus who is committed to food and taste, and certainly the aesthetic lifestyle, I can get behind that.
But if you’re not one of those familiar with MSG, you might be wondering what this third seasoning is besides the bread and butter of the American cooking flavor profile. (Hint: MSG stands for salt and pepper like salt for bread and butter.) It’s the perfect way to start an honest and open conversation, regardless of your personal experience with it. Flavors aside, this gift set is also perfect for anyone who is a fan of Omsom’s signature brand, or what I call “chaotic good.”
Cultural education is not always the easiest lift for those who have the knowledge. But sitting around the table is the perfect time to teach and listen, to share what makes us all unique. And how you can make your dinner even more delicious.