One of Germany's best-known food companies said it will rename a popular spicy dressing because of the racist connotations of its name. Knorr will change the name of its “Zigeuersauce,” or "gypsy sauce" to "Paprika Sauce Hungarian Style," the German weekly Bild am Sonntag reported Sunday. “Since ‘gypsy sauce’ can be interpreted in a negative way, we have decided to give our Knorr sauce a new name,” said Unilever, the international consumer goods group that owns Knorr. The popular spicy sauce, which the AP reports is a staple in many German households, will within a few weeks show up with the new name in supermarkets across the country, Bild am Sonntag reported. Civil rights groups have for years called for the renaming of the brand, but in 2013, the company rejected the demand, the German news agency dpa reported.
The renaming of the brand follows recent international debates over racism, especially in the United States, where national companies have also renamed traditional brands in response to concerns about racial stereotyping. “Zigeuner” is a derogative German expression for the Roma and Sinti minority groups who have lived in many European countries for centuries. Roma and Sinti are still discriminated against in Europe. The terms “Zigeunersauce” has been used in Germany for more than 100 years to describe a tomato-based hot sauce with small-chopped pieces of bell pepper, onions, vinegar, and spices like paprika. A popular dish with the sauce often served in traditional German restaurants is called “Zigeunerschnitzel,” or “gypsy schnitzel.” That name is also still used on many menus across the country nowadays—despite much criticism. Roma and Sinti organizations in Germany have long pointed out that the sauce is not even part of their traditional cuisine.
(Read more racism