Dame Prue Leith addresses criticism of Bake Off’s Mexican-themed week

Some have claimed the episode contained cultural appropriation.
Some have claimed the episode contained cultural appropriation.

Dame Prue Leith has addressed criticism of Great British Bake Off’s Mexican-themed week, saying there was “absolutely no intention to offend”.

The Channel 4 series was accused by some of cultural appropriation after broadcasting an episode featuring a trio of challenges inspired by the food of the South American country.

These included sweet bread pan dulce, tacos and milk-soaked tres leches cake.

During an interview with The New Yorker magazine, Dame Prue said: “There would have been absolutely no intention to offend.

“That’s not the spirit of the show.”

She also confirmed that she and Paul Hollywood, the judges, set the challenges each week.

Co-hosts Noel Fielding and Matt Lucas introduced the episode, which first aired in early October, while wearing sombreros and colourful ponchos.

Fielding joked that he did not feel they should make Mexican jokes “because people will get upset” before Lucas added: “What, not even Juan?”

Following the broadcast, some on social media were critical of the programme’s depiction of Mexican culture, claiming it was guilty of cultural appropriation.

During the interview, Dame Prue also spoke about what she sees as the show’s positive impact.

“Really, the whole phenomenon of Bake Off is, to me, absolutely extraordinary,” she said.

“This is rather a cliche thing to say, but I do think that it is a force for good, most of the time.

“Everything we do in life is a bit stressful, we are always short of time, we’re short of money, there are all sorts of horrible things happening all over the world.

“And Bake Off is this safe space where the worst thing that can happen is somebody will drop their bake.”

Channel 4 has been contacted for comment.