What is sauerkraut?
Pickled cabbage. It’s made by adding salt, herbs and spices to shredded cabbage. Over time the natural bacteria and yeasts ferment and pickle the cabbage. The process does not need heat or refrigeration, so has always been a useful method of food preservation. Sauerkraut is very nutritious, especially in its raw and ‘fresh’ state, where the presence of live bacteria and vitamin C can promote good health. Many people swear by ‘fresh’ sauerkraut, claiming it to be a new super food.
Until recently, buying sauerkraut in the UK was difficult, but now jars are easily obtainable from Polish deli’s and supermarkets. Sauerkraut can also be sold unpasteurized or ‘fresh’ and generally available in plastic pouches – check out the German Deli at Borough Market or your local Polish deli.
The Secret to sauerkraut…
The secret to sauerkraut is to serve it with cured pork joints, sausages and ham – as in the recipe below. The acidity cuts through the richness of the meat and creates a delicious combination of flavours. Try these combinations with German or Dijon mustard and a glass of Alsatian Riesling – then you’ll begin to understand the allure of this pickled treat – and who knows, may even learn to love it!