Food is an essential part of every culture as it represents its people and their cultural identity. Nations have always been sensitive about their cuisines since they pass down from one generation to another. But the fact is, food trends keep changing over time.
Same way, Americans have seen a massive change in food trends, and their eating habits have been shifted to convenience food.
You can find many examples of this shift, and one exception is Liberty Steak. Are you wondering what’s a Liberty Steak and Why Don’t Americans Eat It Anymore? The truth is Americans still eat liberty steaks but under a different name, hamburgers!
During wartime, many things that somehow represented a foreign identity were renamed. So, during WWI, hamburgers were named liberty steak because hamburger was named after a German city.
But once the war was won, everybody started to call things by the name as before the war.
Do you want to crack more about liberty steaks? Stay along with us to decipher this food code and develop its insight.
What Is A Liberty Steak?
Liberty Steak – a steak with the promise of liberty from fat and weight gain? Well, no! While its name might be perplexing, it’s just an alternative name for ground beef patties or hamburgers, to be specific.
During World War I, the United States allied with France, Britain, Russia, Italy, and Japan against Germany, Austria, Hungary, and the Ottomans.
Therefore, during 1917, an Anti-German sentiment arose among Americans. To avoid conflicts, they renamed German-sounding food dishes.
Since hamburgers sounded more like the German imperial city of medieval times, Hamburg changed its name to liberty steaks. Liberty means freedom and independence.
The name liberty steak was assigned to amplify the freedom rights of the pro-American allies against Germans and Nazis. Americans claimed it was an attempt to make these dishes sound more patriotic.
On April 10, 1918, it was printed in the public newspaper, The Bee (Omaha, NE): “Notice to the Public—from now on and after hamburger steak will be known as Liberty Steak; Berlin Ham as Washington Ham. Washington Market”.
What Was The Influence of Renaming America’s Favorite Foods?
Although the trend got hyped back then, the old names came back after the war. Also, it wasn’t only liberty steak that emerged as an updated name; they did the same with some other foods.
For example, changing the name of ‘French Fries’ to ‘freedom fires,’ replacing ‘sauerkraut’ with ‘liberty cabbage,’ and the ‘hamburger’ with ‘liberty sandwich.’
Several other dishes were also given a new name to sound more American and patriotic. The up-gradation of these names came with mixed emotions; some people were excited to witness an appalling chauvinistic version of food names.
Whereas for others, this instilled depression. The culture supposed to bring people together suddenly became a source of shame for many, especially for German-Americans.
The participation of the United States in World War I sparked national paranoia, which resulted in various local violence incidents.
The war proved to be catastrophic, and the people were also bombarded with heinous acts of discrimination. In a nutshell, changing food names never brought peace or satisfactory happiness for anyone.
According to the food lover’s companion, the hamburger patty got its name from a town in Germany called ‘Hamburg.’ It is said that the sailors of the 19th-century came up with eating raw shredded beef, also known as beef tartare today.
A liberty steak is America’s favorite hamburger patty that has been eaten for centuries. In American and British English, it’s a disc made up of minced meat and called a burger or a patty with or without a bread roll. The patty ingredients are compacted into a disc shape, cooked, and served in varieties.
You can come across various hamburger patties across different states and towns of America. But usually, a high-quality and better-tasting hamburger patty is made up of ground beef added with seasonings.
That way, these are distinguished from other inexpensive hamburgers added with cost-savers like textured vegetable protein, flour, and ammonia-treated defatted meat trimmings. Such parties are also called “all-beef hamburgers” and “all-beef patties” sometimes.
Conclusively, the best-tasting hamburger patties contain a minimum of 20% or sometimes even 30% of fat. The patties taste tremendous because of the fat content and cook leeway to taste like greatness.
As it was only a changed name for Americans’ favorite food, they still eat it but with a different name. Americans are still very much in love with patties burgers. Still, they don’t eat it under the name of “liberty steak” anymore.
Thanks to the war’s end, hamburgers have finally got their name back. The end of the war gave hamburgers the liberty to bring America’s favorite original name back!
People usually ask, what’s a liberty steak, and why don’t Americans eat it anymore? The answer to the question is; Liberty steak was the updated name of America’s favorite hamburger patty in World War I.
The conflicts were raised as the United States announced an alliance with France, Britain, Russia, Italy, and Japan against Germany, Austria, Hungary, and the Ottomans.
As a result, various Anti-German sentiments arose, and one of them was renaming German-sounding food dishes.
It affected many popular foods back then, and hamburger patties were one. Later, as the world war resolved, foods returned to their original names. That is why Americans today do not eat ‘Liberty Steak’ anymore; instead, they eat hamburger patties.