Thanksgiving, Sauerkraut, and the Railroad

Marylanders, love it or hate it, serve sauerkraut at Thanksgiving (see a previous post on the subject here). I particularly like the tang of fermented cabbage to break up the richness of the other dishes on offer.

I’m curious how and when sauerkraut made it onto the menu, and where it doesn’t appear. This Thanksgiving menu from the Royal Blue Line, the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad’s elite rail service, doesn’t list it. Other regional dishes appear, including terrapin, canvasback duck, oyster dressing, and stewed tomatoes.

Was sauerkraut too homey a dish? Not considered elegant? Too pungent for the train? This is yet another intriguing menu from the What’s on the Menu? project at the New York Public Library. Now, to figure out Iced California Malagas…

What's on the Menu? New York Public Library. Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, 1900.

What’s on the Menu? New York Public Library. Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, 1900.

About Becky Fifield

Becky Fifield is a cultural heritage professional with 25 years experience in institutions large and small. She is currently Head of Collection Management for the Special Collections of the New York Public Library. An advocate for preventive conservation, Ms. Fifield is a Professional Associate of the American Institute for Conservation, Chair of the AIC Collection Care Network, and former Chair of Alliance for Response NYC. She is also a scholar of 18th century female unfree labor and dress. There's a bit of pun in the title The Still Room, delineating a quiet space brimming with the ingredients of memory, where consideration, analysis, and wordcraft can take place. Ms. Fifield’s interests include museum practice, dress history, historic preservation, transit, social and women’s history, food, current events, geneaology, roadtrips, and considerations on general sense of place. Becky and her husband, Dr. V, live in the Hudson Valley.