Yet again, the Union Market in Washington, D.C. is paying dividends. This week's topic is a couple of candies from Ghana. So once more I want to thank Keith for introducing me to this cool shopping district.
While preparing for this post, I learned I was making a linguistic error--I was referring to these products as "Ghanan" candies. As you can tell from the post's title, I was wrong, and the real term, of course, is Ghanaian. If you're curious, there is a term for the type of word used to identify people of a certain particular place, that's derived from that place name. It's called a demonym. Furthermore, the study of place names is a real thing, too--it's called toponymy. And, to reference an old "Seinfeld" episode, folks from Tobago are not called 'Tobagons," like the type of sled, but "Tobagonians."
Anyway, I was able to buy two types of candy. One was a chocolate bar called Oranco, and the other was Santos, a kind of hard candy. Since I was on a project, and had many of the candies available, I offered/pressured my coworkers to try the Santos, too.
Going worst to best, the Santos were.....weird. They're called sweet, and the ingredient list is glucose, sugar, gum base, and artificial flavors and colors. They're small brown oval candies, in individual wrappers. They have a fairly intense menthol-like taste. I disliked them at first, and thought they had an unpleasant burning flavor. They were more like a cough drop than a candy. Most of my coworkers had this same impression, with one notable exception. However, I gave them multiple chances over a week or more, and they kind of grew on me a little. They're still far from excellent, or even very good, but they're okay, I guess. They're made by Royal Sweets, Ltd., out of Accra, Ghana (Ghana's capitol). I wasn't able to find out much more about the company or its products.
The Oranco was a 50 gram chocolate bar, from Goldentree, from the Cocoa Processing Company, Ltd., out of Tema. I was able to find a website for this one. They make various cocoa products, including other chocolate bars, chocolate for cooking, and even a (non-alcoholic) cocoa liquor. Ghana is one of the major world producers of cocoa, so the chocolate was local, fresh, and contained no cocoa butter substitutes. Oranco is a orange-flavored milk chocolate. I really enjoyed this one. As I've mentioned in previous posts, I prefer milk chocolate to dark chocolate, so this was in my wheel house, so to speak. I could definitely detect the orange flavoring, and it was a nice pairing. Unlike the Santos, I can recommend Oranco without any reservations.
One final note, getting back to demonyms. Like many people I was confused about why people from The Netherlands are called the "Dutch," and how "Holland" fits into all of this. Well, there's some dispute, but as near as I can tell, this is the story. Holland refers to a part of the country, along the western, central part of The Netherlands. Although some people (mostly foreigners) use Holland to mean the entire country, this is incorrect, and apparently considered to be insulting to many. I suppose it's the equivalent of referring to my entire home country as "New England," or something. As for the other term, from what I read "Dutch" is an Old English word meaning "people or nation," and was mostly used to refer to the inhabitants of The Holy Roman Empire in Europe. Those living in the mountainous region of Southern Germany were the "High Dutch," and those living in the low, flat Netherlands area were called the "Low Dutch." Over the years people (the English, and other foreigners) got used to the term, and even after the country was independent and renamed "The Netherlands" they still used the "Dutch" term. (Why they found it so easy to switch to "Germans" I couldn't find out.) But, to sum up, the preferred term for someone from this country is "Netherlander."