Brazil gets its knickers in a twist over erotic pastry
RIO DE JANEIRO - It's a kerfuffle over a waffle. An awful waffle to the guardians of good taste.
At a Rio de Janeiro pastry shop, customers wait in line to buy the waffles. The snack seems to be a hit with the girls of Ipanema, and the guys too.
But the chocolate-covered treats are causing controversy in Brazil because they are shaped like genitals, AFP reported.
Since the "Putaria" pastry shop opened last month in the upscale beach neighbourhood of Ipanema, it has drawn a steady stream of titillated customers, but also disapproval from some neighbours, who have called in the authorities.
This week, the Justice Ministry's consumer protection agency ordered the shop and similar businesses across the country to suspend sales to minors of "all products reproducing or suggesting the shape of human genitalia and/or body parts with a sexual, erotic or pornographic connotation".
It also barred them from displaying the products in shop windows and ordered them to take down any signs with words or pictures referring to them.
The shop already had a policy against selling to minors anyway, said its co-owner Juliana Lopes, who also has franchises in Lisbon and the Brazilian city of Belo Horizonte.
But having to cover up the sign outside the shop came as an "unpleasant surprise", she told Agence France-Presse.
"It made me sad. I knew some people might not like us - as with any business. But I didn't think it would reach this point," she said.
The shop has placed pink cloth over its sign - matching the decor inside - but does not appear to have lost customers.
Inside, clients laughed and snapped pictures with the waffles of their choice - phalluses or vulva - against a backdrop of neon signs with phrases such as "Tastier than your ex".
"I don't agree with the decision. It's a business like any other," said an elderly woman, Neusa, holding a freshly purchased penis shape. "It's just for fun, I think it's great."
It was reported recently that a shop in Thailand was selling milk tea in bags shaped like penises. But it stopped after "sensitive issues" were, ahem, raised.