This thesis looks at sauerkraut and how it relates to German identity. It follows sauerkraut’s path from Asia, traveling through Europe and explores its use in Germany before continuing to the United States. Sauerkraut is representative of the assimilation and acculturation German immigrants experienced once arriving in the United States during the late 19th century. This thesis finds that sauerkraut goes from a non-German identity in Germany, to a deeply negative German association in 19th century America, and finally becomes an American food that is used in American grass roots movements of Locavore, fermentation and traditional food. The communities that make up these food movements are not typically scientists but consumers of the industrialized food system who wish to promote their alternative agrifood agendas. Sauerkraut is used as a political protest against the industrialized food system, which is only possible because of its’ Americanized nature. This is particularly interesting because of the patterns involved with a particular ethnic group assimilating into the dominant mainstream culture.


Holt, Katie




Cultural History | European History | Social History | United States History


Sauerkraut, History, German, German-American, Locavore, Fermentation, Traditional Food, Assimilation, Cookbook

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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