Nov 25, 2010

A Sauerkraut Thanksgiving

(Bon Appétit) ... I didn't know what to say that day to explain our tradition, but I've since done some research, and I now know where it comes from: Baltimore. Serving sauerkraut at Thanksgiving is an old tradition there, rooted in the homes of the city's German immigrants. In 1863, when Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday, about a quarter of Baltimore's population was German. Sauerkraut was a given on their celebratory table, and so it became a common part of Thanksgiving meals across the city. Over time, it didn't even matter if you came from German stock: Sauerkraut became a Baltimore thing. My grandfather's family was as Irish as they come—Mack was their surname, a shortened version of Macgillycuddy—but he grew up on the Chesapeake Bay, eating sauerkraut on the fourth Thursday of every November. Continued

{Falmanac slow-cooks his Thanksgiving sauerkraut with spareribs and caraway seeds.}

Photo: Making sauerkraut c1915 (Library of Congress).