In 2013, the German Association of Sinti and Roma called for the term “gypsy sauce” to be banned from ready-made products. This led to a debate about the term that continues to this day.
Gypsy Sauce: A discriminatory term
In recent years there has been criticism of the terms gypsy sauce and gypsy schnitzel. The term “gypsy” discriminates against Sinti and Roma and is therefore questioned for common German usage.
- In 2013, the German Association of Sinti and Roma criticized the term “gypsy sauce” and called on the manufacturers of ready-made sauces to change the name.
- Different names of the sauce then appeared.
- Knorr, for example, renamed the sauce “barbecue sauce”.
In German-speaking countries, unbreaded veal or pork schnitzel cut into strips in a sauce with paprika and onions was called “Zigeunerschnitzel” for a long time.
- When asked by the Chip editorial team, the manufacturer of the culinary food in Bonn reported that the term has been in use for more than 100 years.
- The term can be found in Escoffier’s reference book for classic kitchens as early as 1903.
- The term describes a hot, spicy sauce that contains chunky ingredients.
- Tomatoes, onions, peppers, vinegar, and spices can be found in the sauce.
- The sauce usually evokes associations with spicy Hungarian cuisine.
- However, according to Sinti and Roma, the sauce did not come from their kitchen.
- In addition, the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma classifies the term as discriminatory, which is why the term should be dispensed with.
- You can read more about the history of the Sinti and Roma and their fight against racism and exclusion on the website of the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma.
This is how the name came about
- It is not exactly clear where the names for schnitzel and sauce come from.
- The terms sauce and schnitzel were already used in the imperial era. The origin can be found in the Hungarian area.
- The transitions between Hungarian Roma and Sinti cuisine are fluid. This is also a possible explanation. Because over time, the recipes of different population groups assimilated.
- This can be traced back to the so-called “long-established” Sinti and Roma, who have been living in Hungary since the 15th century.
- Because the spicy stew “Letscho” is also a typical Hungarian dish that is also considered a Roma recipe.
- However, it is much more likely that the term can be traced back to a marketing gimmick to make a new dish attractive to the Austrian court and the high society there.
- Because the dish belonged to the fine cuisine of the imperial and royal monarchy and was only offered in fine restaurants.
- The haute cuisine had to have a special flair so that the royal court and high society liked the new recipes.