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Sauerkraut and Thanksgiving: A Baltimore Tradition

Baltimore natives don't bat an eyelash when a heaping bowl of sauerkraut is placed among other goodies on the Thanksgiving table. For transplants or visitors, however, the tangy side dish causes more than a few raised eyebrows. Ever wonder how the German staple became a Bmore tradition?

Here's an excerpt:

"Growing up, I had no idea that sauerkraut is not, to most Americans, a traditional Thanksgiving dish. It was always there, on the sideboard, as inevitable as turkey. That's part of the condition of being a kid: Your family, no matter the oddities or inconsistencies, still seems perfectly normal. Adulthood came late for me, because it was only five years ago when I learned that my family's sauerkraut could be considered weird, when the man who is now my husband spent his first holiday with us staring in puzzlement at the bowl of it.

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..."

Read the entire article.
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