An embarrassing single-word typo has caused the recall in Australia of a cookbook called the “Pasta Bible.”
A recipe for spelt tagliatelle with sardines and prosciutto is supposed to call for “freshly ground black pepper.” Unfortunately, the book includes spelt tagliatelle with sardines and prosciutto seasoned with “freshly ground black people.” Penguin Group Australia’s head, Bob Sessions, said the proofreader should have picked up the error but that it was a “silly mistake.” Sessions explains:
“We’re mortified that this has become an issue of any kind and why anyone would be offended, we don’t know… 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.”
Sessions also says:
“It’s called the Pasta Bible, almost every recipe has ground black pepper in it, mostly in the same place [on each page]. In one particular recipe [a] misprint occurs which obviously came from a spell checker. When it comes to the proofreader, of course they should have picked it up, but proofreading a cookbook is an extremely difficult task. I find that quite forgivable.”
7,000 of the books now need to be reprinted, at a cost of about $18,500 USD. While unsold copies will be returned to the publisher, calling back copies that have already been sold would be “extremely hard” according to Sessions.