In the heart of the United States lies a city with a rich history and an even richer culinary tradition. Kansas City, Missouri, is renowned for its mouthwatering barbecue, but did you know that in 1853, it almost bore a rather peculiar name? “Possum Trot” and “Rabbitville” were two proposed monikers for this vibrant metropolis, and their roots are as fascinating as the flavors that have since made Kansas City a barbecue haven.
Possum Trot: A Surprising Suggestion
In the early 1850s, Kansas City was a burgeoning settlement along the Missouri River, teeming with traders, pioneers, and travelers. It was a time when settlers were focused on establishing their roots and creating a unique identity for their burgeoning community. The town needed a name that would reflect its spirit and character.
One of the suggestions on the table was “Possum Trot.” Yes, you read that correctly! Back then, opossums were a common food source, and their meat was considered a delicacy by many. In fact, it was a staple in the diets of early settlers due to its abundance in the region. “Possum Trot” seemed like a fitting name, as it paid homage to this culinary tradition that was so deeply ingrained in the local culture.
Rabbitville: Another Flavorful Option
But “Possum Trot” wasn’t the only quirky option on the table. Another suggestion that gained traction was “Rabbitville.” During the mid-19th century, rabbits were not only abundant but also a popular ingredient in many dishes. Rabbit stew, fried rabbit, and rabbit pies were enjoyed by both settlers and Native American communities in the area.
Much like “Possum Trot,” “Rabbitville” aimed to celebrate the culinary heritage of the region. Naming the city after a beloved food source was a way to pay homage to the local culture that was rapidly taking shape.
Kansas City: A Name for the Ages
In the end, Kansas City was chosen as the city’s official name. While “Possum Trot” and “Rabbitville” were entertaining suggestions, they might have pigeonholed the city into a singular culinary identity. Instead, the name “Kansas City” allowed for a broader representation of the city’s diverse and evolving culture.
However, the spirit of those early settlers and their love for good food endured. Today, Kansas City is celebrated for its world-famous barbecue. The city’s barbecue scene has evolved over the years, incorporating flavors and techniques from various culinary traditions. Whether you prefer ribs, brisket, burnt ends, or pulled pork, Kansas City’s barbecue scene has something to satisfy every palate.
So, the next time you sink your teeth into a succulent Kansas City barbecue dish, remember the quirky origins of this city’s name. “Possum Trot” and “Rabbitville” may not have made the cut, but they certainly add a unique and flavorful chapter to the delicious history of Kansas City.