In Baltimore, sauerkraut and Thanksgiving go hand-in-hand and is a time honored tradition. When Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1863, about a quarter of Baltimore’s population was German, so sauerkraut was a given on their celebratory table and became a common part of Thanksgiving meals across the city over time. In fact, one mayor issued a decree that anyone eating turkey without sauerkraut inside the city limits would be shot.
H.L. Mencken is quoted as saying “There was no self-respecting Baltimore household that didn’t have a batch of kraut brewing in the basement.” Baltimore loves their sauerkraut at Thanksgiving, Hon!