Patriotic Foods

I just learned an interesting tidbit from The Straight Dope.

When French Fries got turned into Freedom Fries a few years ago by people who were mad at France for not being supportive of our war efforts, I was pretty embarrassed. And annoyed. I didn’t buy food anywhere that sold Freedom Fries. I still don’t, though they’re pretty rare these days.

But apparently this wasn’t our first foray as Americans into stupid political food terminology. I should have known.

During World War I we changed the name of lots of foods that were German. The closest equivalent to the Freedom Fries is Sauerkraut, which was called either Victory Cabbage or Liberty Cabbage. We also changed Frankfurters to Hot Dogs and, according to wikipedia, Hamburgers became Liberty Steaks.

Why do we think changing the name of a food will negate where it is from? If you don’t want to be supportive of a place, stop eating food from there, changing the name just makes you seem silly.

This is not to say America is the only country to do this, it’s happened all over the place. But sheesh.

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