Iran Renames Danish Pastries

Status: Undetermined
A news service called AKI (Adnkronos International) is reporting that Iran has decided to rename Danish pastries "Mohammedan" pastries. It notes that "The name change recalls when some Americans started calling French fries, 'Freedom fries' to protest France's opposition to the United States-led invasion of Iraq."

I wouldn't put it past the Iranian government to do this, but what I'm not sure about is whether Danish pastries are actually referred to as Danish pastries in Farsi. Perhaps they use the English term. Also, it seems odd that AFI is the only news source reporting this. A search on lexis-nexis and Google news pulls up nothing else. However, the London Evening Standard is reporting that "Danish pastries and butter were being cleared off supermarket shelves in Saudi Arabia." So if people are willing to clear Danish pastries from supermarkets, why not rename them also? I'm leaning towards believing it's true.

Food Politics Religion

Posted on Tue Feb 07, 2006


Meh.. Wouldn't be the first time.. nor the last...

It's why we have frakfurters that are also hot dogs, and hamburgers that are also Salisbury steaks..

I'm reminded of the lovely Afghani place here in town, that became Indian on Sept 12th...
Posted by Bobcat  on  Wed Feb 08, 2006  at  01:14 AM
Iran did once get mad at England, and started having maps printed with nothing but water between Scotland, Wales, and France. So I wouldn't be surprised if they did something like this. I doubt that they would call pastries "Danishes" in the first place, but they may know that they are called that in English and so change the name.

All the same, I am a bit dubious about this article. Maybe they heard some Iranian guy joking about doing this, or else got mixed up with Iran banning Danish-made products such as pastries.
Posted by Accipiter  on  Wed Feb 08, 2006  at  02:26 AM
This sounds like a spoof to me.
Posted by outeast  on  Wed Feb 08, 2006  at  02:40 AM
That's similar in sillyness to some americans renaming french fries to "freedom fries" after the French governement refused to fight in Irak. In both cases, the association of the particular food item with the name of the country is not used in the country itself - Danish pastry is called "viennese bread" (wienerbrod) in Danmark, and French fries are called "pommes frites", "fried apples" from "pommes de terre", the French name meaning "ground apples" for potatoes
Posted by Nadine  on  Wed Feb 08, 2006  at  03:43 AM
Also, somebody show me ONE single american who actually used the term "freedom fries" as anything other than a joke. Maybe the White House chef or something, but that's it.
Posted by Matt  on  Wed Feb 08, 2006  at  08:00 AM
I'm guessing it's a hoax, since "Mohammedan" is offensive to all the Muslims I know (as it implies they worship Mohammed).
Posted by harmonyfb  on  Wed Feb 08, 2006  at  08:07 AM
Can't say about the french fries, but my wife and I were on a trip to Florida and we stopped at a Denny's and the family next to us ordered the "freedom toast" and were completely serious.
Posted by Tim  in  Maryland  on  Wed Feb 08, 2006  at  10:59 AM
I wish I could say I'm surprised, Tim, but I accepted a while ago that far, far too many people in this country are reactionary idiots. The thing is, even before Iraq, the average American hated the French. But ask them why, and I seriously doubt you'll get an intelligent or well formed answer. "Because they're f***ing Frenchies," is the most common one I've personally heard.
Posted by Fred  on  Wed Feb 08, 2006  at  12:39 PM
I think this is a prank or satire by somebody.
As harmonyfb says, most Muslims consider the term "Mohammedan" offensive to their religion. In fact, it's an offense roughly analogous to publishing pictures of the Prophet Mohammed-- which, of course, is what has a lot of Muslims angry at Denmark in the first place. So it would be highly ironic if "Iran" (or anybody else) retaliated against an insult to Islam by insulting Islam again.
Posted by Big Gary, late for feeding time  in  Dallas, Texas, USA  on  Wed Feb 08, 2006  at  04:31 PM
Seems like a goof...

A friend of my now says, "Excuse my freedom." instead of "excuse my French" a joke of course, but I thought it was a much better use than "freedom fries".
Posted by Maegan  in  Tampa, FL - USA  on  Wed Feb 08, 2006  at  06:18 PM
It was in the radio this morning (9.00 local time, 9. February). The danish pastry was going to be renamed Mohammads Flowers LOL . I don't know if it's a confirmation, they may have read it at your source.
It's a stupid thing all around. Jyllandsposten print those cartoons as a provocation, then they act surprised when, surprise, people get provoked. What did they expect?
Posted by Mikkel  on  Thu Feb 09, 2006  at  06:59 AM
I never understood this. America was so upset that France didn't do just what America wanted that everyone started to go around substituting 'Freedom' for 'French'?! Surely equating the two is a compliment?

As for the 'cartoon controversy', regardless of whether this is a freedom of speech issue or not, shari'a law and the hadith are binding only on the followers of Islam, and even then it depends your particular brand of Islam. Some scholars contend that all images of anything are 'haram', some say that images of the prophet are permissible if not used as part of worship or ritual (idolatry).
Posted by David B.  on  Thu Feb 09, 2006  at  07:47 AM
No, it's not a compliment to refuse to call something by a name, b/c of what it's called for.

For example, if you had a friend who named their child David, BECAUSE of you...and then decided they hated you and changed their child's name to wouldn't mean they still liked you...regardless of what they rename the's not a compliment to YOU.
Posted by Maegan  in  Tampa, FL - USA  on  Thu Feb 09, 2006  at  12:45 PM
off topic I know but........

If it were not for France, the American Revolution may have had an entirely different outcome, I have always realized this and give France the respect due them. Spain as well for that matter. Granted, it was probably more of a "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" situation but regardless, France deserves gratitude for their monetary and military support during that crucial period of American history.
Posted by Chuck  in  Rhode Island  on  Fri Feb 10, 2006  at  10:12 AM
No Maegan, if someone named their child David because of me, it's because they don't like the child!
Posted by David B.  on  Fri Feb 10, 2006  at  11:06 AM
French fries are not named for the country, but rather for the technique used to produced them, cutting them into even slices slightly larger than a julienne, or "frenching" them.
Posted by Rex  in  Arizona  on  Sat Feb 11, 2006  at  01:38 PM
Sorry to step on yr point again Gary, muslims have been offended by the cartoons not because they depict Mohammed (as this is not written anywhere in the Koran as haram) but that they show Mohammed as Bin Laden with a bomb for a turban. So all this controversy in the press is angering us even more when it misses the point of why they offended us in the first place. I will remind all of u of the Jewish outcry when Prince Harry wore a Nazi uniform for a halloween party and Catholic outcry for movies such as the passion of christ. All of the above offensive in the same way.
Posted by merve  in  greece  on  Tue Feb 14, 2006  at  01:36 AM
Merve, only one of the cartoons show Mohammad with a bomb as a turban. Now, I think it was a stupid provocation to print those cartoons, but of the twelve cartoons, 3 did make fun of Jyllandspostens provocation, at least five didn't make fun of the Prophet. Only 3 or four was, in my eyes, blasphemous. To condemn or even threaten all twelve illustrators is unjust. Still, the picture with the bomb was really bad and reminiscent of the drawings Jyllandsposten printed of Jews in the late thirties, where they worshipped Hitler. You may judge the Mohammad cartoons yourself on Wikipedia.
Posted by Mikkel  on  Tue Feb 14, 2006  at  10:09 AM
Mikkel as a really liberal muslim (im Turkish maybe that explains it as we are the most secular state) i believe none of the journalists should have been threatened regardless of what they have drawn. However, it should be noted that these cartoonists as u have pointed out insist on depicting images that are offensive to jews and muslims. They can not hide behind the phrase Freedom Of Speech. It must be recognized that they aim to provoke possible to get attention and that their publications are made with little regard as to who they might offend and very little tact. As far as im concerned that doesnt make a good journalist by any account.
Posted by merve  on  Wed Feb 15, 2006  at  03:33 AM
I agree that those images never should have been printed. Freedom of speech is important but it shouldn't be abused. If it was important to get an image out, for instance those pictures from the Abu Graib prison, they should be published, even if it offends someone, but to offend just to offend is morally wrong and plain stupid.
Posted by Mikkel  in  Copenhagen  on  Wed Feb 15, 2006  at  02:25 PM
The Danish deliberately provoked Muslims and are now paying the price. There is no "freedom" of speech when it offends Islam. Denmark, Israel, and the USA kufar will suffer regardless of any apology. It is to late.
Posted by Ahmand  on  Sun Feb 19, 2006  at  09:33 PM
Of course images from Abu Ghraib prison should be published, see washingtonpost latest, any form of unnecessary physical and mental abuse inflicted on anyone by anyone should not be tolerated. This is alerting the world of what is going on..and im not saying that because Muslims are being bullied and Tortured by US Soldiers. The press highlighted Turkey's humans rights infringements and the EU gave us complete barriers to entry so on came the new laws and tighter punishments for policemen etc. abusing their power. Again all of this good journalism, those photos are just not. It would be interesting to quiz these illustrators about current affairs. I wonder if they know anything about whats going on in the world. Turbans nowadays are a Sikh or Indian authenticity, diificult to find a muslim wearing a turban no matter if they are far eastern or gulf arabs.
Posted by Merve  on  Sun Feb 19, 2006  at  11:23 PM
And Ahmand "no freedom of speech when it offends Islam?" Excuse me if u have nothing intelligent to say then dont bother. You should be morally/socially just with good sense and reason to differentiate between right and wrong with any indoctrine presented to you. USA/Denmark will suffer? Sorry do u expect anyone to take u seriously? People like u embarrass Islam.
Posted by merve  on  Mon Feb 20, 2006  at  12:43 AM
Ahmand, all Danes, as you write it, haven't deliberately insulted all Muslims. I'm danish and I refuse to take the blame for a stupid editor of a newspaper I despise and a wimp of a prime minister who thought more of his next election than of the good of the country.
Boycott danish goods, fine, it hurts the government who is to blame. Demonstrate to show our government what you think, it ups the pressure and should the danish rightwing government fall I for one will cheer, but don't blame all Danes, we are many who respect Islam. For that matter I have friends, as danish as I am, who are Muslims, they say that they feel that they have been kicked twice, once when the cartoons was published and a second time when they saw the danish flag burned by fellow Muslims.
Posted by Mikkel  in  Copenhagen  on  Mon Feb 20, 2006  at  04:35 AM
Merve, I think we mostly agree, I'm not a Muslim but I can understand how those cartoons has hurt you. I just wanted to say that not all the illustrators are to blame, let alone all Danes. I hope that this conflict will be resolved soon on the side of more tolerance on both sides.
Posted by Mikkel  in  Copenhagen  on  Mon Feb 20, 2006  at  07:36 AM
Of course Mikkel, how huge prejudice it would be to blame all Danes or all Israelis or all muslims. I have many Danish friends who were shocked by all of this just as much as my muslim friends. I appreciate yr thoughts and views on this matter.
Posted by merve  on  Mon Feb 20, 2006  at  07:42 AM
Hi. About renaming Danish pastry. I have seen several articles about this on the Internet, and the new name translates as Roses of Mohammed.
Posted by David Morgan  in  The Netherlands  on  Tue Feb 21, 2006  at  03:49 AM
It seems rather unlikely to me that Danish pastries exist in Iran under any name. I've never been there but I have been all over Turkey many times. Next door country with a similar food culture. They have quite enough varieties of sweet pastry that they don't need to look to Scandinavia for ideas.

Maybe you might be able to get some sort of inert-gas-packaged version of a Danish pastry aimed at Western expats in some Iranian supermarkets, but it would be such a niche product most Iranians would never have heard of it.
Posted by Jack Campin  in  Scotland  on  Wed Mar 01, 2006  at  10:07 AM
Agreed we dont have Danish Pastry in Turkey and I doubt they have it anywhere in any middle eastern country.As Jack pointed out these countries are so abundant in their pastries and famous for them that there would really be no need.
Posted by Merve  on  Wed Mar 01, 2006  at  11:09 PM
The idea has been suggested in Iran and was implemented by a few bakeries. It actually is not a hoax.
Posted by Arash  in  Manitoba, Canada (Iranian)  on  Wed Oct 11, 2006  at  03:31 PM
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