Photo Credit: The Sidewalk Deli on Facebook
An employee of The Sidewalk Deli on Facebook.

The Sidewalk Deli, a sandwich shop at 120 S. Main St., Salisbury, North Carolina, on Monday posted this message on Facebook:

“As of today, the Sidewalk Deli is now using Ukrainian dressing on our Reuben, Ruby, Turkey Reuben, and Veggie Reuben. It tastes just like our previous dressing without the notable undertones of genocide.”


The shop enclosed this list of de-Russified items.

The Sidewalk Deli Russian-free menu. / Facebook

Interestingly, the last time Americans expressed their patriotism by renaming their food, the trend also started in North Carolina: “Freedom fries” was the politically motivated new name for French fries, as a response to France’s opposition to the Bush administration’s proposed invasion of Iraq in 2003. In February 2003, the owner of Cubbies, a restaurant in Beaufort, North Carolina, Neal Rowland, converted all his French fries to Freedom Fries, in the spirit of the renaming of popular German foods in WW1. Back then, sauerkraut was renamed Victory Cabbage, and Frankfurters were renamed Liberty Dogs. Also: German shepherds and dachshunds were renamed Alsatians and Liberty Hounds.

There are many foods and consumer products associated with Russia which aren’t really Russian:

  • Russian dressing was invented by a grocer named James E. Colburn in New Hampshire in 1924.
  • Less than 1% of the vodka consumed in the US is made in Russia, including Stolichnaya, which is made in Latvia.
  • The signature “Russian” cocktails, Black Russian and White Russian, were invented by mixing vodka with Kahlúa by bartender Gustave Tops in 1949 at the Hotel Metropole in Brussels, Belgium.
  • Russian nesting dolls were first produced in Japan.
  • Pierogi dumplings most likely originated in China.
  • Borscht definitely comes from Ukraine.
  • And notorious dictator Joseph Stalin was born in the Georgian town of Gori.
Joseph Stalin / Public Domain

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