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Place of origin
|Oatmeal, sugar, coffee, cocoa, butter|
Chokladboll (literally "chocolate ball") is a popular Swedish confectionery - a type of fridge cake. The original name was negerboll (literally "negro ball") but this is today considered controversial because of its association with the potentially racist term neger (en: negro).
The chokladboll is usually slightly smaller than a golfball. The chokladboll consists of oatmeal, sugar, vanilla sugar, cocoa, butter, and sometimes a small amount of coffee (some like to mix in a splash of cream to make them creamier and softer), which is mixed to a compact mass. Balls are formed and then rolled in nib sugar, shredded coconut, or sprinkles. Chokladboll can be eaten immediately, but it is usually first placed in the refrigerator for about an hour or in the freezer for those who prefer a harder variety.
Because of its simple recipe, it can be quickly made by anyone and is popular at children's parties and as homemade candy.
The traditional name for the pastry is negerboll ("negro ball"). It was coined in an era when there were virtually no people of Sub-Saharan African descent (see black people) living in Sweden. Due to its arguably offensive character by contemporary standards, the name has fallen out of favor in cooking books. It is occasionally used in colloquial speech, and whether or not negerboll is the appropriate term has been the subject of media debate and on blogs. The word neger was considered neutral a few decades ago but today is generally considered potentially offensive, and the use of negerboll is therefore not recommended. The common term today is chokladboll. In the Gothenburg area the version with shredded coconut on it is called kokosboll ("coconut ball"). Yet another name is havreboll ("oatmeal ball"), although this is mostly used for a variant that contains little or no cocoa at all. A popular producer of the pastry, Delicato, have chosen to call it "Delicatoboll".
In 2003, a bakery owner from Sjöbo was reported to the Swedish Ombudsman against Ethnic Discrimination for using the word "negerbollar" on a sign in her bakery shop. However, the case was dismissed since the woman reporting it did not consider herself personally insulted.
The word chokladboll was first added to the Swedish Academy's glossary Svenska Akademiens ordlista in 2006. Before it was only to be found under negerboll. Nowadays the pastry can be found under both names but with the addition "rather use chokladboll" to the negerboll entry.
Similar sweets exist around the world.
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- "Bakelsefel?". Dagens Nyheter. 1 March 2010.
- Svenska Akademiens ordlista över svenska språket, 2006
- Kidebäck, Caroline (23 January 2004). "Negerboll är kränkande men skånskt konditori slipper skadestånd". Sydsvenskan. (Swedish)