In my corner of the food universe, everyone’s crushing on kimchi these days. We — friends, co-workers, me — make it, share it, gift it, and put it in and on everything. When we see kimchi on a menu, we know instantly what we’ll be ordering. We are, it’s fair to say, obsessed; and in this we are far from alone. But while kimchi soaks up all the plaudits, nobody, it seems, swoons over its European cousin in cabbage-y fermentation, sauerkraut. Who will sing of sauerkraut?
I, for one. Here, let me begin. Sauerkraut — nothing more than shredded cabbage, salt and time — is vegetable fermentation in its purest form. It is to cabbage as wine is to grapes: a complex, lively, astonishingly delicious ennoblement. (Kimchi, which involves more flavoring and manipulation, is a nearer analogue to beer.) The comparison to wine may seem a bridge too far for sauerkraut if all you know is the dull jarred stuff that upholsters billions of hot dogs. But as anyone who has ever made it at home understands, good sauerkraut, with its irresistible mix of salty and savory, crunchy and tangy, is a sophisticated thing of beauty.
Continue Reading Super Food Nerds: Make Your Own Sauerkraut
Sure the baseball season may nearly be over, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t indulge in the true American pastime: eating hot dogs. Biting into a delicious dog without the accompanying layer of sauerkraut is like laying in a bed without a pillow or petting a dog without fur (apologizes to Xoloitzcuintli fans.)
The Brinery, a Michigan-based pickling company, is attempting to buy over 12,000 pounds of locally-sourced cabbage to turn it into delicious and probiotic sauerkraut. They have taken to everyone’s favorite crowdsourcing site, Kickstarter, to ask for your help in finishing this fermented fiesta. A donation of $20 will ensure you a jar of the kraut once it is finished. A donation of $1,000 will net you and your friends the ultimate pickle party of your dreams.
Learn how to make your own quick and easy sauerkraut.
Making your own kraut is easy and cheap, and the process uses ingredients and equipment you can easily source, if you don’t already have them on hand: a big bowl, a quart-size Mason jar, vegetables and sea salt. Cabbage is the traditional base for kraut, but you can include any other crunchy vegetables such as carrots, radishes or turnips. You’ll use a little more than one tablespoon of salt for every two pounds of vegetables. For this batch we used one small red cabbage, about one pound, three large carrots, again about one pound, slightly more than one tablespoon sea salt, and one teaspoon each yellow mustard seed and fennel seed.
Continue Reading How to Make Your Own Quick and Easy Sauerkraut