Heinz’s new condiment has left a bad taste in Canada’s Cree community. The food company recently released a limited-edition product that's a mixture of ketchup and mayonnaise, but Mayochup's Cree translation (“shit face”) has caused quite a commotion online.
Wait, how exactly does Mayochup mean “shit face” in Cree? Well, according to Arden Ogg, director of the Cree Literacy Network, the word “mayo” sounds similar to the Cree word “meyiwi” which roughly translates to “feces,” while the “chup” part of word sounds like the Cree word for “eye,” which in certain parts of Northern Ontario also means “face.” He told The Toronto Star “This happens to match the very vulgar English idiom for extreme drunkenness.” Oof!
Mayochup first hit the shelves in the U.S. last year after the company launched a Twitter campaign to select a name for the blend. They decided to create the orange concoction after realizing that many people were mixing the sauces on their own. Why not make it official? It launched in Canada on May 6th.
Everything seemed to be going swimmingly until Jonathan Soloman of the Kashechewan First Nation and the Grand Chief of Mushkegouwk Council reached out to Up North’s Waubgeshig Rice about the awkward meaning in Cree. The program host then tweeted the hilarious translation to his 29,000 followers. "This new sandwich spread, whatever it is, they call it Mayochup," Rice tweeted out. "In Cree, it means shit-face." The tweet has been shared more than 1,000 times and liked more than 2,700 times.
A Heinz spokesperson acknowledged the unsavory translation to CTV."The only thing we want our consumers, whichever dialect of Cree they speak, to have on their faces this summer is our newest condiment mash-up,” the email read.
Here are some of the online reactions to the news:
According to CTV, Cree is the most widely spoken Indigenous language in Canada with over 96,575 speakers.
Narcity has reached out to Heinz to see if they plan on changing the name or think Mayochup is just an acquired taste.