Cookbook Typo: Recipe Calls for “Ground Black People”

The Australian publisher of a cookbook is reprinting some 7,000 copies after its proofreaders failed to catch a typo that resulted in a recipe calling for “ground black people” instead of “black pepper.” Penguin Group Australia admitted that the recipe for spelt tagliatelle with sardines and prosciutto included in the “Pasta Bible” contains an error. The recipe instructs readers to season the pasta dish with “salt and freshly ground black people.”

Penguin’s head of publishing, Bob Sessions, said the company was taking responsibility for the error but described it as nothing more than a “silly mistake.” Penguin is not recalling copies of the book already distributed to bookstores, saying that doing so would be “extremely hard.” Sessions said the error was too small to offend any one, but the company is willing to replace copies for customers who are uncomfortable with the typo. “We’ve said to bookstores that if anyone is small-minded enough to complain about this … silly mistake, we will happily replace (the book) for them.”

The proofreaders are also off the hook, as Sessions said the mistake was forgivable. “When it comes to the proofreader, of course they should have picked it up, but proofreading a cook-book is an extremely difficult task.”