Nebraskans apparently love their sauerkraut.
We love it so much that when Frank's Kraut began featuring photos of sauerkraut fans on its labels, submissions poured in from the Cornhusker State.
And we've loved it a long time. According to some sources, the Reuben sandwich — corned beef, Russian dressing and sauerkraut on rye — was created here in the 1920s, though New York also claims the distinction.
But even if the sandwich isn't Nebraska-born, it's still served in lots of Nebraska restaurants.
When the Ohio-based Frank's invited Omaha's biggest fans to the Crescent Moon Ale House for a group photograph on Thursday, dozens showed up, drawn by both the kraut and the very small amount of fame they will experience when the photo eventually appears on the Frank's label.
In addition to the photo shoot, the event was designed to celebrate that famous sandwich, said Frank's marketing manager Katie Smith.
Omahan Oksana Kling was among those who participated. Kling, of German and Ukrainian descent, estimates that she consumed sauerkraut four times a week as a kid. She doesn't eat it quite that much now, though she frequently includes it in meals she serves at her OK Corral Daycare — up to a couple of times a week.
“I have one of the few day cares where little kids will actually eat sauerkraut,” she said.
Reuben Minthorn of Omaha also attended, bringing along both a can of Frank's and a loaf of sauerkraut bread. He said he wanted to be there mostly because he shares a name with what likely is the world's most popular kraut-based sandwich.
“I don't know whether it came first or I did,” he said. (He would learn in the program that the sandwich predated him by more than two decades.)
Frank's did some research into the New York/Nebraska Reuben rivalry, decided the Nebraska story checked out better and picked the Crescent Moon for the photo in part because of its proximity to the Blackstone Hotel (where local lore has it the sandwich was invented) and in part because the bar happens to serve a mean Reuben.
In fact, a panel of diners named the Crescent Moon's Reuben as the city's best in a World-Herald Food Prowl last year.
The Frank's label featuring the Moon crowd, which will begin appearing on grocery store shelves in about eight weeks, will “kind of recognize this city and its contribution to food history,” Smith said.
Mayor Jim Suttle also recognized this history, proclaiming March 14, 2013, as “Reuben Sandwich Day” as the mostly middle-aged crowd cheered.
The event wrapped up a bit before five, just time for dinner.
Most of those who stayed went with a Reuben.
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