There are stereotypes about almost every nationality and race, some of which are blatantly racist while others could just be seen as harmless fun.

And one of the most well-known is the old saying that white people can't handle spicy food.

It may not actually be true for many people, but one unidentified Korean restaurant in Toronto appears to be perpetuating that stereotype in one viral image being shared online, according to Daily Mail.

The eatery's menu has a spiciness ranking, where the least spicy rating of food is labelled "white".


The picture by user peternok, which has been upvoted more than 7,700 times on Reddit, has sparked a debate online about whether or not the sign is racist - and if it's acceptable to collectively stereotype white people.

Many people who say they are white found the menu "funny," while others said it is just fuelling an unfair and untrue generalisation.

But is all as it appears?

Several people put forward a very reasonable explanation for why the least spicy rating is labelled as "white" at the restaurant, which appears to be located in either Canada or the US. They say the label is to do with the colour of a typical Korean broth.

Korean broths are typically flavoured with "red" spice - so if a customer asks for no spice at all, the colour of the soup will be white.

Several people claiming to be Korean speakers also said there are two different words for the colour white and "white people". The Korean word for the colour white is what is written on the menu, they said.

But it didn't stop the fierce debate about whether or not the menu is racist on the Reddit thread.

Some argued that the stereotype was true for a lot of people - one man said that his girlfriend once found a dish of his too spicy even though he had only seasoned it with salt and pepper.


But others argued that they were "sick" of jokes about race, with one user arguing that joking about white people lumped Caucasians into one 'amorphous, unified, global entity'.

Several people said that other Asian restaurants have served them non-spicy dishes even when they asked for it to be hot because they were white.

But others, who said they had white skin, did not find the menu offensive.

One user, linatrinch, who said she was white, argued that white people need to "collectively chill" about so-called "racist" jokes.

"It's obviously a stereotype just like any other but nothing to get mad about," she said.