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April 4, 2022

Chocolate-Coated Marshmallow Treats With Unusual German Names

Some of the delicious chocolate-covered marshmallow treats you grew up eating have terribly racist names in some parts of the world. The food isn’t racist, of course, but their original names have caused controversy for as long as they’ve been around.

Chocolate-coated marshmallow treats are confections consisting of a biscuit base topped with marshmallow-like filling and then coated in a hard shell of pure milk chocolate. In the late 19th century the treat that we consider today as a “Schokokuss” (“Chocolate kiss”) was produced in France for the very first time. The original name was “Tête de nègre” (“Negro head”). In Germany the treat first appeared in 1892 in Leipzig. Today you can still find evidence for the appearance of the name in various cafes, which still use the old name of the treat. One will find “Café Mohrenkopf” (“Coffe Negro head”) in Zürich, Munich and Vienna.

Soon after the appearance of the treat in the German-speaking areas the name was changed to “Negerkuss” (“Negro kiss”). Sadly that change didn’t happen because of a possible brutal association of eating a person’s head. The real reason was most likely a translation mistake related to the filling of the treat the Baiser, which is in French nothing else but a kiss.

The very friendly looking heads in the outdated advertisement are clearly promoting the treat in a rather bitter way with a strong taste of racism. Nevertheless this advertisement is not to be analyzed since it’s no longer accurate to say “Negerkuss”. This is thanks to a movement in the 1970s, which labeled the advertisement as racist enforced the name change in the German speaking society to “Schokokuss”. That is considered to be politically correct. Even the German Dictionary points out that the word “Negerkuss” is grammatically correct but the political correct use is “Schokokuss”.

Today there are 70 different producers of the “Schokokuss”. The market leader in Germany is called Dickmann.

(via Chocolate Class)

1 comment:

  1. Just to add more context to the “Café Mohrenkopf” (“Coffe Negro head”): Mohren aren't "Negros" but Moors, who did all the coffee trade with Europe.
    The Viennese coffee brand Meinl had for that reason a Moor wearing a fez and now only the fez as logo.
    Else, yes, the "Negerküsse" are a mistranslation or rather a play on words of the french "Tête de nègre".




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