US – Omsom, the ‘proud and loud’ Asian food brand,has released the IYKYK condiment set (If You Know, You Know set), including Korean salt, Vietnamese pepper and an unexpected addition – monosodium glutamate (MSG), reclaiming the narrative around the misunderstood flavour-enhancer.
Boasting colourful and punchy designs, the refillable wooden shakers are remixing the staple salt and pepper tabletop seasoning set in a bid to flip the misconceptions around MSG and its connotations as a 'dirty' ingredient. With its IYKYK Set, Omsom hopes to rebrand MSG as a delicious and safe ingredient and turn around its bad reputation, which is tainted by anti-Asian xenophobia and bad science.
‘Our IYKYK Set is a reclamation and celebration of not just an ingredient that we grew up with, but one that we were conditioned to be ashamed of. Now, MSG can sit at the centre of any table, ready to be used daily – as it should be,’ says the brand’s co-founder Kim Pham.
Omsom hopes to inspire more brands to rebrand Asian food culture and debunk the harmful narratives surrounding Asian ingredients and communities.
Like Omsom, brands can use their platform to take a stand against xenophobic perceptions of ingredients like MSG in society, educating both customers and organisations and normalising unfamiliar flavours