Chocolate kisses, paprika sauce and now also curry? More and more names of dishes are questioned. Hardly anything outrages many so much – why?
Berlin. Few things set the Internet ablaze like alleged "woke madness, which hits beloved food. With "Woke are used to describe people who consider themselves to be an "awakened Awareness in matters of justice, climate protection, discriminatory language or even racism can be claimed.
That showed again the excitement around a future vegetarian restaurant with VW in Wolfsburg. In the course of the so-called Currywurst-Gate, in which also former chancellor Gerhard Schroder interfered, when he spoke out against vegetarian food for "workers" (#RettetDieCurrywurst), fundamental criticism of the term "curry" also emerged to. Is the often used word a shortening of Asian cuisine?? Is the term even racist?
When it comes to food, as we all know, the fun stops a long time ago. There has long been a rift in society, which often leads to heated debates about food. It is then about climate protection and meat consumption, for example, or racist chocolate names.
Do activists want to ban everything?
Recently, a small curry debate spilled over into Germany after a delay. To summarize: The Californian food blogger Chaheti Bansal is criticized because she had already addressed months ago that in the West all sorts of "curry" are called "curry sausage" although in India, for example, the regional specialties change every 100 kilometers and the name curry probably goes back to the colonial masters’ convenience.
In debates of this kind, the claim is quickly made that activists want to ban everything and that the accusation of racism is treated too lightly.
In Germany, racism in connection with food has so far been known primarily from the well-known chocolate kisses and their formerly common name as well as from a type of schnitzel and sauces with the same name.
We remember: In 2020, brands such as Knorr, Homann and Bautz’ner announced that they would rename their so-called Z sauces, for example "Hungarian-style paprika sauce".
Unreflective foreign designations
The Central Council of German Sinti and Roma welcomed this step. The term "gypsy is an old collective term for ethnic groups "a foreign designation of the majority society overlaid with cliches, which is rejected by most members of the minority as discriminatory". It had always been negatively occupied and with exclusion connected. With good will, one could say that the admiring hit song "Gypsy boy" is a fascist dish from 1967, but many also see this as romanticization and kitsching from on high.
While the Wiener Schnitzel actually originates from Vienna and Peking ducks have a genuine Chinese origin story, the questioning of other dishes and their names is primarily about the aspect that they are unreflective foreign names.
More and more dishes and products seem to get into the focus and are problematized. And many people then feel threatened or even robbed of their youthful memories.
"Pizza Margherita a fascist food?
For example, the name "Pizza Hawaii" is also used to refer to the for a baked dough pancake with cooked ham and pineapple. The name is "linked to a history of colonialism and appropriation", was said, for example, by the group PoC/Migrantifa. The name is supposed to lend an exotic touch, but has nothing to do with Hawaiian cuisine or culture. The islands of Hawai’i had been annexed by the USA in war. The population had been exploited by white settlers with pineapple cultivation. "Pizza Hawaii" is not explicitly racist, but shows "many colonial stereotypes" at. It might be better to say "pizza with pineapple".
Speaking of pizza, the classic pizza with tomato, mozzarella and basil is named after the former Italian queen Margaret. She lived from 1851 to 1926 and was anti-parliamentary. She was considered a supporter of the later dictator Benito Mussolini. Is "Pizza Margherita" so a fascist food?
To many, such debates seem absurd and know-it-all. Health and nutrition psychologist Cristoph Klotter told Die Welt: "Unfortunately, there is sometimes a tendency for the socially better off to really elevate themselves above other people."
Degrading slave stereotype
The new awareness is also hitting some brand names: Pepsico made a big splash last year with its "Aunt Jemima" brand (Aunt Jemima) End. For decades, the logo of a chubby black woman in a headscarf was used to advertise breakfast pancakes and syrup.