Knorr, one of Germany's best-known food companies, has announced that it will rename a popular spicy dressing due to the racist connotations of its name. The company will change the name of its "Zigeunersauce" or "gypsy sauce" to "Paprika Sauce Hungarian Style."
"Since 'gypsy sauce' can be interpreted in a negative way, we have decided to give our Knorr sauce a new name," Unilever, the international consumer goods group that owns Knorr, was quoted as saying by Associated Press.
The spicy dressing, popular in Germany, will hit the supermarkets across the country with the new name within a few weeks.
While civil rights groups had called for renaming the brand for years, the company had rejected the demand in 2013. The decision to rename the brand comes amid recent international debates over racism.
"Zigeuner" is a derogative German expression for the Roma and Sinti minority groups. The groups, which have lived in many European countries for centuries are still discriminated against. With no equal access to education, jobs, or the opportunity for upwards mobility, the groups often live below poverty line.
Despite much criticism, the terms "Zigeunersauce" has been used in Germany for over 100 years and has been used to make popular German dishes called "Zigeunerschnitzel," or "gypsy schnitzel."
For years, Roma and Sinti organizations in the country have pointed out that the sauce is not even part of their traditional cuisine, demanding it to be renamed.
"It is good that Knorr reacts to the complaints of apparently a lot of people," Romani Rose, head of the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma told Bild am Sonntag, a German weekly.
The terms "Zigeuner" or "Jude" - Jew is also used by some soccer fans in the country to insult players or the fans of opposing teams during matches, Rose added.Also Read: 'Time To Move On From Regressive Beliefs': Scotch-Brite Promises To Make Its Logo Gender-Neutral