February 26, 2011

Maybe you do like sauerkraut

When I was a kid, I remember liking sauerkraut but I have no memory of where we bought it nor of the container. But as an adult, remembering, I had not been able to find a sauerkraut that seemed to match what I remembered from childhood. Too damn sour - to tart by half, but when I would buy some I would eat it. I finally decided that I just like things more sour when I was kid. Like the huge sour pickles, when I was in 5th grade, that were sold for a nickel at the little store just across the street from our school in Archer City.

Recently, reading online about food fermentation, I read an article on how to ferment cabbage. Cabbage and salt. That's all it takes. So next time I was in the store, I checked the ingredients in the name-brand sauerkraut I thought was the best of brands I had occasionally bought. Well, there were additional ingredients but one of the main ingredients was vinegar. So I was being sold cooked cabbage with added vinegar and told it was "all natural" sauerkraut. Baloney!

Okay, there is real sauerkraut available but not typically on the canned veggie shelf at the super market. Here in Houston, you can find "barrel sauerkraut" at Fiesta and Central Market (and probably other places) made from cabbage and salt. Cabbage and salt period - nothing else. The brand I bought, Gundelsheim, is a product of Germany. But I'm sure that are other brands from other countries. It is delicious. It is better than the sauerkraut I remember. When I was in the Army (USASA in Bad Aibling) stationed in Germany, I do not remember ever testing their sauerkraut. I remember their Christmas goose and dumplings (but that's another story).

Well, as I kid, when we had our occasional sauerkraut it was always with wieners (3 lbs for $1 or some price similar) but I wouldn't eat those wieners today. Since I haven't been a red meat eater for over 30 years (not that there was much real red meat in those childhood wieners), I use a veggie alternative. My favorite is the Veggie Patch veggie dog but there are lots of brands (Veggie Patch wieners are products of Israel).

If you are a meat eater, try real fermented cabbage (sauerkraut) with your sausage and it may turn out that you actually like sauerkraut!

I do.

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