Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Romania, Albania and Turkey Sell “Racist Cookies”   
14 September 2011 | Black Man chocolate flavoured cookies, which were spotted on sale in Romania, Albania and Turkey this week, triggered heated discussions on Internet. Their shape of “a man with braids, a wide nose and big lips” was seen as an attempt at profiting from racial stereotypes.

Historically, this is not a novelty in Europe. The Old continent may be a fervent observer of political correctness, but one of the reasons for this is its long record of political in-correctness. Which, in the recent history, regularly found its way to Europe's pastry.

Only a century ago, chocolate was often associated with black skin, and even if offense was not always meant, this practice was later condemned and slowly vanished. Or at least, partially.

One example was the Swedish pastry, traditionally called negerboll, negro ball.

Before the 1960s the name of these chocolate balls, rolled in grated coconut, still sounded neutral. But then in the following decades it gradually was perceived more and more as offensive, until it was dropped and the dessert was renamed to chokladboll, Chocolate Ball.

Another popular example were the Belgian congolaiske, which were created around the colonization of Kongo by the eccentric Belgian monarch Leopold the Second.

Dressed in black (supposedly, the colour of a Congolese's skin) chocolate, they have once contained a filling of bright pink filling. That one was supposed to refer to the colour of human lips. Nowadays the name is still used, only the allusion to a Congolese is obscured by replacing the pink filling with white one.

One more similar example, perhaps the most popular one, comes from the United States.

There in the first half of the 20th century Whitman’s company had to drop one of its most popular lines - Pickaninny Peppermints, as a result of accusations in racism.

One of the very recent examples comes again from the US, where in a Greenwich Village bakery two years ago customers were flabbergasted to be offered "drunken negro cookies".

The place, which was reported to be famous amongst celebrities, had dedicated the cookies to the US president Obama.




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