The Census Spices Are BBQ Rubs Based on New York City's Ethnicities

By: Alexander Lam - Published: • References: hannakangbrown and psfk
Using American Census data, designer Hanna Kang-Brown created barbecue rubs based on New York's boroughs called 'Census Spices.' Each of Kang-Brown's mixes accurately represents the racial composition of each of the five boroughs.

The Census Spices were created by assigning each ethnicity a different distinct spice. Italians were assigned garlic powder while the Chinese were given ground ginger. Other cultures were paired with spices that best represent their cuisine as well. After pairing cultures with spices, Kang-Brown created mixes based on Census data. Spices were added in proportion to each borough's cultural makeup.

Kang-Brown's experiment worked surprisingly well as people could identify boroughs based on each rub's composition. Staten Island was easily discerned from the garlic powder which represents the borough's large Italian population.