A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from October 23, 2019
Liberty Cabbage (sauerkraut)

During the period of World War I in the United States, there was a rise of anti-German sentiment, and German-sounding foods were renamed. Sauerkraut was called “liberty cabbage.”

“Sauerkraut camouflaged as ‘liberty cabbage’ will taste just as good” was printed in the Washington (DC) Post on February 27, 1918. The old name came back after the end of the war.

There were other “liberty” renamings. A hamburger was called a “liberty steak” or “liberty sandwich” during World War I.

The terms “freedom fries” (for french fries) and “freedom toast” (for french toast) were used during the 2003 invasion of Iraq.


Wiktionary
Etymology
Coined during the First World War as a substitute for the word sauerkraut, which had been borrowed from German around 1600.
Noun
liberty cabbage
(uncountable)
1. (US, historical, nationalist) sauerkraut

(Oxford English Dictionary)
liberty cabbage n. U.S. (now historical) sauerkraut.
Adopted during the First World War (1914–18) to avoid the German associations of sauerkraut.
1918 McKean Democrat (Smethport, Pa.) 21 Mar. 4/1 There is no longer any kraut; ‘Liberty Cabbage’ takes its place.
1918 N.Y. Tribune 25 Apr. 1/3 Enough sauer—beg pardon—Liberty cabbage is in storehouses here to feed the whole German army for several days.
1919 Hartford (Connecticut) Courant 29 Jan. 18 (advt.) Heinz Liberty Cabbage, three lbs. for 25c.

Newspapers.com
27 February 1918, Washington (DC) Post, pg. 6, col. 1:
Sauerkraut camouflaged as “liberty cabbage” will taste just as good. 

28 February 1918, Watertown (NY) Daily Times, pg. 4, col. 3:
Don’t call it sauerkraut now. Liberty cabbage is the more patriotic designation.

Newspapers.com
13 March 1918, Welch (OK) Watchman, pg. 3, col. 2:
Lovers of the succulent cabbage properly fermented can now indulge their appetites without suspicion of disloyalty. There is no longer any kraut. “Liberty cabbage” takes its place.

Newspapers.com
15 March 1918, Canonsburg (PA) Daily Notes, pg. 4, col. 2:
Loyal Americans no longer need to eat sauer kraut; the article has been re-named, and it is now “Liberty Cabbage.”

Newspapers.com
20 April 1918, The Daily Republican (Rushville, IN), pg. 4, col. 2:
Lovers of the succulent cabbage properly fermented can now indulge their appetites without suspicion of disloyalty. There is no longer any kraut. “Liberty cabbage” takes its place.

Newspapers.com
25 April 1918, New York (NY) Tribune, pg. 1, col. 3:
Have You Bought Your Liberty Cabbage Yet?
Don’t lay yourself open to the charge of pro-Germanism hereafter by calling it “sauerkraut.” Refer to it as “Liberty cabbage.”

The pickle dealers add to this admonition the earnest plea that people buy it, whatever they call it. For enough sauer—beg pardon—Liberty cabbage is in storehouses here to feed the whole German army for several days.

Just because the food has a German name true patriots are avoiding it. Before the war it was selling from $45 to $50 a barrel. It is down to $14 or less now, with no buyers.

The pickle dealers sent a delegation to the Federal Food Board yesterday to ask its cooperation in getting rid of the supply of sauerkraut. They offered to change its name to anything the board might suggest, and “Liberty cabbage” was at last selected.

Food conservationists are urged to adopt this slogan:

BUY, BUY LIBERTY CABBAGE! AND BYE-BYE SAUERKRAUT!

Newspapers.com
25 April 1918, Salt Lake Telegram-Herald-Republican (Salt Lake City, UT), pg. 1, col. 2:
“Liberty Cabbage’ To Remove Stigma Of German Dish
NEW YORK, April 25.—Sauer kraut may be camouflaged under the name of “Liberty cabbage” if the federal food board here acts favorably on the recommendation of local vegetable dealers who assert that the pro-German stigma of the dish has been responsible for a falling off of 75 per cent in consumption since America entered the war.

The dealers told the board yesterday that there is now enough sauer kraut in stock in New York City to supply a fair sized German army. The board ordered the dealers to submit statistics showing the exact quantity of sauer kraut they have on hand.

Newspapers.com
28 June 1918, The State Journal (Lansing, MI), pg. 14, col. 3 ad:
Liberty steak ... 22c
(...)
Liberty cabbage ... 6c
(Bazely Cash Market.—ed.)

Newspapers.com
24 December 1939, South Bend (IN) Tribune, pg. 4, col. 2:
STILL SANE.
Gratifying evidence of public stability is found in the result of an American Institute of Public Opinion poll to determine the popular attitude toward German culture as distinguished from the brand of politics now dominant in Germany. During the world war, it is recalled, it became “treasonable” for Americans to manifest liking for anything of German implication. Some of the results of that attempt to evade reality appear ludicrous in retrospect. In the culinary zone, particularly, there was a strong tinge of fantasy. It became treasonable to eat sauerkraut in this country and patriotic to consume sauerkraut under the name of “Liberty cabbage.” The ever-popular hamburger sandwich was also preserved for utilitarian use by changing its name to “Liberty sandwich.”

Newspapers.com
23 March 1941, Davenport (IA) Democrat and Leader, pg. 30, col. 6:
We will not be officially at war until the name hamburger has been changed to liberty steak, and sauer kraut to liberty cabbage....

Newspapers.com
8 March 1976, Waterloo (IA) Courier, pg. 5, col. 5:
LIBERTY FOOD
During World War I anti-German feeling was so intense that hamburger was called liberty steak; sauerkraut, liberty cabbage; and a dachsund was a liberty pup.

OCLC WorldCat record
Scapegoats, slackers and spies: the portrayal of Germany, Germans and German-Americans by three eastern Iowa newspapers during World War I
Author: Lucinda Lee Stephenson
Publisher: Iowa State University Digital Repository 1985-01-01T08:00:00Z
Dissertation: Thesis / Dissertation ETD
Series: Retrospective Theses and Dissertations
Edition/Format: Thesis/dissertation : Thesis/dissertation : eBook : English
Summary:
It was a time when sauerkraut became “liberty cabbage” and hamburger became “liberty steak.” Berlin, Iowa, started calling itself Lincoln, Iowa, and scores of people filled court houses across the country to have their German surnames changed to “more patriotic and American” names. All aspects of German culture were frowned upon by loyal patriots of the red, white and blue: things that were once a great source of pride for German-Americans suddenly became a source of shame. America’s participation in World War I sparked a period of national paranoia, hysteria and violence--the likes of which America would not see again until the internment of Japanese-Americans in World War II. For America’s German population, the war caused them to endure years of divided loyalties, misunderstandings and persecution. Hyphenism became a buzz word that emphasized the hyphen between “German-Americans,” and it implied a divided loyalty that was frowned upon by those fortunate enough to be “100 per cent” American. President Woodrow Wilson explained it by saying that “some Americans need hyphens in their names because only part of them came over” when they left the Fatherland for America. Shortly afler the United States entered the conflict, German-Americans found themselves the objects of intense scrutiny.

Urban Dictionary
liberty cabbage
What “patriotic” Americans called sauerkraut during the World War I years during the height of anti-German hysteria here in the United States.
Sauerkraut was renamed liberty cabbage to remove the German connotation, much like what George W. Bush and the Republicans did to french fries by renaming them freedom fries.
#french fries#freedom fries#sauerkraut#germany#france#george w. bush#patriotism
by jesster79 August 17, 2006

HPPR (High Plains Public Radio)
Freedom Fries, Liberty Cabbage & the Myth
By JONATHAN BAKER • FEB 21, 2018
(...)
At that time, there were many communities across the United States where German was more commonly spoken than English. However, upon America’s entry into the conflict, German-Americans began to be ostracized and villainized. Sauerkraut was renamed “liberty cabbage” and German measles became known as “liberty measles.”

Twitter
CMS APUSH
@APUSHCato
Replying to @JJRocksUrSox
Get yourself a Liberty Steak or a hotdog with some Liberty Cabbage on it.
6:40 PM · Jan 19, 2019 from Tennessee, USA·Twitter for iPhone

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Wednesday, October 23, 2019 • Permalink