‘Gypsy-style rice’: Swiss army renames ‘racist’ dish

Zigeunersauce, which translates to gypsy sauce, has become an increasingly fraught point, with many arguing that the term should be discontinued on racism grounds. Von Flo Beck - Eigenes Werk, CC0,
Zigeunersauce, which translates to gypsy sauce, has become an increasingly fraught point, with many arguing that the term should be discontinued on racism grounds. Von Flo Beck - Eigenes Werk, CC0,
A popular Swiss rice dish has been renamed in military kitchens.

One of the dishes the military routinely served its recruits was called “Reispfanne Zigeuner Art”, which means “rice gypsy style”.

The ready-made dish was served to Swiss troops, but is also popular in Swiss restaurants, as a home recipe and throughout much of German speaking Europe. 

In recent years however, the description has come under fire for being racist – and has been removed from menus or renamed as a result. 

In order to clarify the issue, the army contacted Switzerland’s Federal Commission against Racism (CFR) to ask whether the dish’s name was racist and if it should continue to be served. 

In its response, the CFR deemed the description racist, saying another name had to be found for the dish.

Army spokesperson Daniel Reist said the new name was chosen to reflect its ingredients. 

The meal is still served but it is now called “Reispfanne mit Rindfleisch und Paprika”, or rice with beef and peppers.

The army said that no other dish on its menu had to be renamed because of an offensive or unacceptable name.

The names of several dishes have come under increasing fire for their purported connection to racism in German-speaking countries in recent years. 

The deserts Negerkuss and Mohrenkopf have been replaced or renamed on menus throughout much of German-speaking Europe due to these concerns. 


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