NATIONAL KRAUT AND FRANKFURTER WEEK
Cook up a big juicy hot dog, pile on the sour cabbage. It’s Kraut and Frankfurter Week. This week celebrates the traditional German meal. The 7-day long observation always starts the second Sunday in February.
Kraut is a shortened version of the word sauerkraut. Fermentation gives shredded cabbage its sour flavor. During World War 1, American sauerkraut producers were afraid of labeling it with a German word, so they called it “Liberty Cabbage.”
Frankfurters are stuffed meat casings in single-serving size, perfected in Frankfurt, Germany. They’re often served in buns at beer gardens and topped with kraut.
All about Kraut – Did you know…
- there are Sauerkraut clubs where you can receive sauerkraut of the week?
- there are specific ways cabbage must be prepared to be authentic?
- sauerkraut is packed with nutrients and vitamins, maybe even more than raw vegetables?
- metal ruins sauerkraut? Farmers Almanac notes:
The old jingle “A hand in the pot spoils the lot” is entirely accurate. Keep your hands, and any metal object, out of the crock. Use wooden spoons and mashers and glass or crockery for dipping and weighting.
HOW TO OBSERVE
If it’s not too late, make up a batch of your own sauerkraut to celebrate the week. It takes a least a week of fermentation to get it right, so plan ahead.
Otherwise, buy commercially available sauerkraut at your local grocery store. Then experiment with how much to add to the biggest thickest bratwurst, polish sausage or hot dog you can find. Experiment with different types and brands of sauerkraut to put on a hot dog.
Visit the nearest ethnic German community and sample their authentic versions of sauerkraut and or frankfurters.
Use #KrautAndFrankfurterWeek to share on social media.
The first observance of the week is hard to pin down, but it appears it started in Pennsylvania among the Dutch and German settlers there in the mid-1800s or before.
Merriam Webster Dictionary notes the first known use of “kraut” was in 1855.
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