Thursday, March 21, 2013

Five Swiss chocolate specialties you should eat now

In case you haven't noticed the chocolate bunnies, which took over all Swiss grocery stores right after the reindeer were retired, another holiday, and therefore, another reason to eat chocolate is upon us. As if you needed the excuse. So The Frau has graciously provided five good reasons to get going on your proper Swiss 12 kilos of chocolate consumption this year.

Swiss Easter: another excuse to eat chocolate
PC Americans, please close your eyes now. Because Mohrenkopf literally translates to "nigger head." And you should eat one. Why? With thin layer of chocolate on the outside and marshmallow on the inside, Mohrenköpfe are like s'mores but without the graham cracker. Make sure you enjoy the right brand, where the marshmallow literally melts in your mouth as m&m’s always claimed to do but never did. The Frau recommends Dubler Mohrenköpfe. You can find them at Manor Food or even buy them direct from their factory in Waltenschwil if you are a Hausfrau and their limited opening hours actually fit your schedule. (Warning: do not feed a Mohrenkopf to your toddler unless you want to give her a bath.)
Price of one nigger head: 90 Rappen.

Mövenpick Chocolate Chips Ice Cream
The Frau was never a big chocolate ice cream connoisseur, but after trying the Mövenpick  chocolate chips ice cream, she has reformed. This ice cream tastes more like chocolate custard than ice cream. And if you can’t stop eating it, you’ll want to run for the border–and not just to burn off the calories. In Germany, you can get a package of Mövenpick chocolate chips ice cream for 2 Euros, or about one fifth of the Swiss price (CHF 12). The Frau has not figured out why Swiss products are cheaper in Germany because she's too busy running over there to get them.

Schober Hot Chocolate
Hot chocolate served with a side of chocolate? What are you waiting for? Café Schober’s famous hot chocolate is a drink that’s a meal in itself. Totally justifies the high price.
Price: Cup in café CHF 7

Sprüngli Truffle Cake
The small version of this cake claims to feed four, but it’s so delightfully rich that you could probably squeeze at least six or eight servings out of it. The Frau got this cake for Baby M to celebrate her first birthday and she enjoyed it so much that amazingly, more went into her mouth than on her dress.
Price: CHF 20

Lindt Passion Caramel & Sea Salt Chocolate Bar
Not shockingly, the combination of Swiss chocolate, caramel pieces, and sea salt is a good one. You can find this chocolate bar for sale at Manor Food and Coop.
Price: CHF 4,95

What is your favorite Swiss chocolate specialty? Inquiring Easter Bunnies want to know.


Martin said...

Dear Chantal,

I must object, thoroughly as a matter of fact!

"Mohrenkopf" does NOT translate to "nigger head", not at all!

The very old German term 'Mohr' means nothing else than the people from the area what we nowadays call the Middle East (In German: Naher Osten). And especially not even to be mismatched with "black" African people!

So, in fact, the term 'Mohr' DOES NOT AT ALL imply or refer to any negative connotations, because originally it simply referred to the people from Mauritania, the Moors, and only later it became connoted to the people with darker skins in general from this area, even outside of Mauritania. And the even later misuse of this term in darker ages does not appreciate its real meaning, a mere, first of all, geographical and later on adapted physiological reference. Could you imagine how impressive and how exotic a person with a darker skin was those days!?

But still given all this term's history, nowadays, it still does not have that negative attributes in the German speaking world at all, as you are intentionally implying with your very personal translation!

I would be happy if you could clarify this in your text!

In fact, it would be an intentionally misused wrong translation by you if you leave it that way, since you would misuse the term the same way as you hypocritically try to point your fingers at the seeming misbehaviour of others.

see: (please stick to the German wikipedia page, since the English one is something totally different)



Anonymous said...

Dear Chantal:

As a frequent reader of your blog, I must say I am quite disturbed that you would use the N word so flippantly to make a joke about chocolate. Particularly because it's incorrectly translated and therefore not actually relevant to the article you are writing. I think you have underestimated who exactly your target audience is.

I am black, I am not American, and if you must know, I don't need to be "overly PC" to find your opening paragraph in poor taste. The N word may just be an outdated slur to you, but because this is an international forum and blog, perhaps you could exercise some sensitivity.

A Disturbed Reader

Tony said...

Sorry, Martin, but the German Wikipedia states exatly what Chantal said, namely that "Mohr" is a person of dark skin and that it is no longer used because of its negative and colonial connection.

Martin said...


In fact, I did obviously not deny the also existing negative and colonial connotation of the term "Mohr", not at all.

And the Wikimedia text is actually much more DIVERSE (manifold) about the term's background. What you are referring to is literally, besides others:

"Die Bezeichnung Mohr für einen Menschen dunkler Hautfarbe wird heute nur noch in historischen Zusammenhängen verwendet. Wie auch der Ausdruck „Neger“ KANN „Mohr“ als ein rassistisch diskriminierender Ausdruck verstanden werden." (Capitals added by me: KANN --> "CAN be understood as")

And I would highly recommend anybody interested should read the WHOLE Wikimedia text. E.g. the fact that the Madonna at the monastery of Einsiedeln is a black Madonna, a Mohrenmadonna, namely the mother of the MOST holiest person in Christianity, could not be a stronger reference about its also existing positive connotation! And there are many other references. In other words, it very much depends, who used this term in what context and for what purpose, bad, or good, or neutral, or whatever. - BUT to be on the very safe side, you just do not use it - never again, in whatever situation. (That is probably the American approach).

And I am totally aware of this. Further, no (educated) German European person would ever use this term actively, especially not in its discriminating meaning (and "Mohrenkopf" does not refer to this). Not even extreme right-wing people use this term, so far as I can observe.

I think, we European have a much more relaxed and diverse way how to handle such problematic backgrounds. And, I am repeating myself, I do not deny its negative aspects, not at all, rather the other way around! - But, how should I explain this?


Martin said...

Well, let's go that way: I like to visit theatre productions. And European theatres like to set up a lot of classic (German) works. E.g. by Walther von der Vogelweide, as mentioned in the Wikipedia text as well. And in the cited text, von der Vogelweide does use it in a discriminating way, indeed.

Now, if you are a purist, you could follow a sectarian approach: you would perhaps request that this term has to be changed, that the injustice connotation has to be cleared out, that the text has to be changed accordingly, or even stronger, that you ban the whole work from any further theatre production. - Well, that is not an European approach, and indeed not an educated approach, at all.

Why? Because, we, the audience, know all its meanings, we know, whether it is used in a discriminating way, or whether it is used for example as a reference to the people from Mauritania, as it is often used in medieval work. Just because we listen to this obviously hundred years old piece of work, does not mean we legitimate it, that we appreciate it. No. We are thoroughly able to make the distinction, because we were educated that way (in the school). Actually, it is expected (by the society) that we are able to do so!

Besides, the fact that this discriminating usage is kept unchanged in the text and for example in a theatre production, gives an easy possibility to remind us, or even better, to show that the author of this text, and perhaps other people of his era, did actually have such discriminating ideas! Or, the author was just parodying a by him observed attitude of his era and used it intentionally that way. Who knows? Well, first of all, you have to read the whole work and put it in its context! - This could be especially interesting to newbies of this work. Definitely an interesting point to start an educating discussion, isn't it?!

And would the deletion of this discriminating text not support the very reverse, resulting in the wrong imagination that Walther von der Vogelweide was a sacred person, because then he or his coevals seemingly were totally free of any prejudices, perhaps quite opposite to the general habits of this era, an inerrant hero indeed? But what a historical misrepresentation would this become then!? - No, thank you. I undoubtedly prefer the idea that the reader/listener/audience is able to make the distinction, the contextualisation by him/herself!


Well, let's come back to the original issue. All these things said. And again, for the third time now, I know the also existing negative and colonial connotation of the term "Mohr" very well.

BUT, Chantal's translation is still utterly wrong.

The word she used in fact, though it also has a somewhat neutral origin, it is "often used slightingly, by the mid 20th century, particularly in the United States, its usage had become UNABIGUOUSLY pejorative, a common ethnic slur usually directed at people of Sub-Saharan African descent" ( And I would add: an extremely insulting, offending and provocative meaning, and STILL used that way nowadays!

"Die Bezeichnung Mohr für einen Menschen dunkler Hautfarbe wird heute nur noch in historischen Zusammenhängen verwendet." ( … and its discriminating meaning is not the exclusive meaning, as well as, not the major historical usage of it!



Martin said...

... and by the way, would you call one of the Three Holy Kings a Moor or a Nigger?!

(which is, by the way, an invention by 12th century!)

Unknown said...

Ragussa mmmm.. all year!

Anonymous said...

Blah, blah, blah Martin. My Swiss husband told me about these years ago and I couldn't believe it. Wrong, yes. True, yes. Sent a pair to a friend recently as in Flanders they are called "female negro's breasts". Chantal, you were just stating the facts as they were told to me as well. Going to try your recommendation - thanks!

Martin said...

Hi Anonymous,

I do not defend the misuse of the term "Mohr" (and I pronounce this now for the forth time, at least), nor do I - and never did, as matter of fact - defend any terms from Flanders, especially any kind of racist attitudes. Actually, I did not speak about Flanders, not in the least, as you easily can prove.

So, I cannot see any relevance of your input about the fact that the translation is still simply wrong.

Quite the contrary, you keep insisting on it. So, you want to say that you insist that Balthasar, one of the three Wise Men, the way how they are also called in other cultural contexts, being said to origin from India, Middle East, or Africa, depending on the culture you are referring to, is still to be called a Nigger!?

Not a nice idea, indeed, in order to say the slightest.

I still prefer very much the term 'Moor', for both, Balthasar and the Mohrenkopf.

And by the way: I also reject any responsibility for your husband's habits or any result out of your relationship with him, whatever nationality he might be of! ;-)

Best regards.

globatris said...

My favorite is the bio cremant from Coop Naturaplan. I still have an expat friend shipping it to me after having relocated from Switzerland.

Tony said...

Martin, really?? Give us a break!

Chantal said that "Mohrenkopf" can be translated to "Nigger head".

That statement is true - or at least it's more true than not.


Anonymous said...

Martin please!! My husband also translate it to me exactly as Chantal did so I dont follow your point here as she is right!

Chantal said...

Good evening mitenand,

The Frau would like to thank everyone for their concerns over the naming of a certain chocolate marshmallow. Unfortunately, she cannot take responsibility for the word since her accent ensures she definitely did not come up with it.

Now a certain Easter Bunny is off to buy some of your recommendations for other treats.

Jefe said...

Chantal, I enjoy your blog but am surprised that you would use the n-word word so incorrectly and so unapologetically. You're a writer and know the power of words. The one you used is especially potent and offputting to Americans, whether or not you feel the thrust of its meaning. Besides, the translation really is wrong. Moor, the actual term, is an antiquated word that, although still offensive to some, is not nearly as powerful. It's not overly PC to take offense to the n-word when you consider its meaning today. And your use of it is not only unnecessary, it's offensive and shocking in such casual usage. Sorry for the rant, but I'm very disappointed you seem so apathetic about this...

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot Leonie. I should be researching more on the major functions of pharmacists aside write my essay from selling medicines.

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Unknown said...

Mohrenköpfe IS the N word. I'm in the french part of Switzerland, and those chocolates were called "Têtes de nègre".
But that's not the case anymore. Now they're called "Choco head". I'm sure you know why...


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