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Debate about chocolate biscuits - what's behind the “Mohrenkopf”

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Migros has sparked a debate with the decision to stop selling “Mohrenköpfe”. But where does the word come from?

What does the word "Mohrenkopf" mean? The expression "head of a Moor" is an outdated term for people with dark skin. Others, however, see a different origin in connection with “Mohrenkopf”. The word goes back to the old German term "Môre", which means wild boar.

Why is the "Mohrenkopf" called that? The term is used for various types of pastry. The original form, however, probably consisted of two egg-snow halves, which were glued together with jam. Then they were covered with dark chocolate. Comparable to the coat of arms of the Bernese Zunft zum Mohren, the "Mohrenkopf" is supposed to represent the head and hairstyle of Africans.

What's the story behind it? “Mohrenkopf” was first mentioned in connection with sweets in German-speaking countries in the 19th century. The "Mohrenkopf" is considered an invention of Leipzig bakers. Because these sweets are listed in the “Universal-Lexikon der Kochkunst” published regularly from back then. At that time they were apparently not only called "Mohrenköpf" but also "Indian donuts".

What is the current dispute about? For a long time there has been a dispute about whether the term “Mohrenkopf” is racist. As early as 2017, an online petition demanded that Dubler - who was one of the last providers of candy to write “Mohrenkopf” - should rename his product. The current debate was triggered by a tweet from a Migros customer who asked the retailer to remove the “racially connoted product” from its range. This tweet received widespread approval.

How are retailers reacting? Migros has now decided to take the product out of the range. Other companies are now apparently following, as several media write. Volg and Spar want to deal with the question and then decide whether they still want to sell the company's “Mohrenköpf”.

The discussion now also applies to the “Mohrenköpf” of other companies. The Manor department store takes the sweets from the Richterich company off the shelves. The term "Mohr" is catchy and has a negative connotation, said Manor media spokesman Andreas Richter to relevant media reports.

We have decided to take the product out of the range. The current debate here has led us to reassess the situation. We are aware that this decision will also lead to discussions. ^ nk

- Migros (@migros) June 10, 2020, link opens in a new window

How does the producer react? Robert Dubler, meanwhile, speaks in the media and says that changing the name will not counteract the basic problem of racism. It is clear to him that he does not want to offend anyone with the name “Mohrenkopf” - on the contrary, it stands for something positive.

"I can make ends meet without the dealers"

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The “Mohrenköpf” by Dubler come from Waltenschwil (AG) in Freiamt. Robert Dubler produces there with 15 employees. "All wholesalers can get out, that in no way puts me in any trouble," says the boss.

The reason is the fairy tale price. According to Dubler, they are very small when he sells through major distributors. “The turnover is one thing, what I earn from it is another. And that's not a lot when selling through dealers ».

So Dubler relies on direct sales and says: “I don't want to grow, I even prefer to get smaller. I can still pay my employees' wages ». (daed)

How do opponents of racism react? In an interview with SRF in 2014, for example, Celeste Ugochukwu, coordinator of the Africa Diaspora Council Switzerland (ADRS), said: “I think it is a sign of a feeling of inferiority when an African thinks that all African symbols in Europe bring one together have a negative background and that they should just be abolished. "

What do you call the sweets today? There are now different expressions for the "Mohrenkopf". In some German-speaking areas, for example, it is called Schokokuss or simply Schokokopf. In English one speaks of the Angels' head.

10 before 10 June 11, 2020, 9:50 pm; sda / bisv; kurn

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  • Comment from Ariane Moesch (ariane21)
    To be on the safe side, you could really call it a chocolate kiss. Now I would be interested in how the black reacts to the expression ??.
    Agree agree to the comment
  • Comment from Wolfgang Hartmann (Wolfgang Hartmann)
    Continuation: How do you understand the sentence: It fits like a fist in the eye. Does it fit or not? It fits in Germany and it doesn't fit in Switzerland. There are also other things where you first have to find out the background, otherwise you will classify it wrong. An Iranian woman arranges the Easter eggs as
    non-Christian, because there is something similar in Iran, although the origin is Christian and in Egypt. Just like a Nepalese, the Christmas tree as pagan, although in the 13th century. invented in Alsace
    Agree agree to the comment
  • Comment from Patrick Charpilloz (skeptic)
    Dear Migros
    Read the above poll and ask yourself whether you really want to remove a good product from the range because of 17% of consumers?
    Agree agree to the comment
    1. answer from Andreas- David Balzer (Davidino)
      Mr. Skeptic, I didn't even know that the survey was representative !?
      Agree agree to the comment
    2. Show answers

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