What’s in a pastry’s name?
Neue Zürcher Zeitung
The language police are coming for your cookies, said Claudia Wirz. First they cried racism over the Mohrenkopf, or Moor’s head, a cream cake coated in chocolate. Two years ago, activists demanded the “decolonization of the patisserie,” damning those who made and enjoyed Moor’s heads as “violent racists.” Apparently undeterred by their failure, they are now back and out to get the Meitlibei, that delicious, finger-thick, U-shaped pastry with the hazelnut filling, because its name means “girls’ legs.” Sexism, they say! Objectification! One Basel-based bakery chain is now offering the traditional Bernese treat under the new name “lucky charm”—an apparent attempt to make consumers think of horseshoes rather than crotches. This “obsessive judgment of virtue” isn’t merely tiresome, it is intensely divisive. A world in which “everyone is always suspected of being racist or sexist” doesn’t lead to inclusivity. Instead, it creates “a cynical, dogged, frustrated, and jealously controlling society that pits all against all: men against women, poor against rich, natives against immigrants, heterosexuals against homosexuals.” The Swiss are a diverse people, with multiple languages and ethnicities living in federation, and we get on quite well. We ought to be able to enjoy a sweet treat without entering “a moral battle zone.”