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German Food Company Knorr to Rename ‘Gypsy Sauce’ Due to Racist Roma Slur

Plus, COVID-19 may put an end to free wine tastings, and more news to start your day

Zigeunersauce on a grocery shelf. Photo by JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP via Getty Images

Knorr will rename a sauce that uses a derogatory term for Roma people

Knorr, the German food company best known in the U.S. for its dehydrated pasta mixes, announced that it is changing the name of one of its products, a popular sauce in Germany, due to its racist connotations.

Knorr will rename the sauce, currently called “Zigeunersauce” (translation: “gypsy sauce”), “Paprika Sauce Hungarian Style,” the Associated Press reports. “Since ‘gypsy sauce’ can be interpreted in a negative way, we have decided to give our Knorr sauce a new name,” said Unilever, the company that owns Knorr. “Gypsy” is a pejorative term that refers to Roma people, an ethnic group that has long faced discrimination in Europe.

The word “Zigeunersauce” has been used in Germany for more than a century to describe a spicy sauce made with tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, vinegar, and spices, most often served with meat, per AP. Roma organizations have reportedly called for an end to the name for years.

The news, which was first reported by German newspapers, comes on the heels of a larger international reckoning with racist histories, policies, and norms that continue to this day. In the months after protesters first began demonstrating against police brutality and anti-Black racism in the U.S., the companies behind brands like Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben’s, and Eskimo Pie have said they will reconsider racist product names or visual branding.

And in other news…

  • Is COVID-19 the end of free wine tastings? [The Guardian]
  • Also in danger: casual dining chains like Chili’s, TGI Friday’s, and Ruby Tuesday, which will likely be “in a state of limbo” — like most sit-down restaurants — until there’s a vaccine. [Business Insider]
  • Big food brands are doing everything they can to get their products direct-to-consumer, from vending machines to meal kits. [CNN]
  • Kids in the U.S. are eating more fast food than before, according to a CDC report. [Today]
  • The history of American industrial chicken farming begins with corn. [The Guardian]

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