At first glance, Making Sauerkraut and Pickled Vegetables at Home (Books Alive, Panama City, FL; paperback, 64pp; 2002; $11.95) promises to be a useful book. Clear writing is one of just two things that distinguish this work. The other is that this book is replete with beautiful, four-color, glossy photos of delicious “comfort food.”
Looking past the eye candy, authors Klaus Kaufmann and Annelies Schöneck have divided their little book into two chapters. Chapter One is: “All About Sauerkraut.” Here subheads tout all sorts of useful information, including: “All About Kraut,” “What You Need” to make kraut, and “The Science of Successful Lactic Acid Fermentation.”
That first chapter seems like good information. So I thought it too bad that Chapter Two, “Sauerkraut Recipes,” calls the veracity of Chapter One into question. Other readers can think as they will, of course, but I cannot bring myself to trust information about food preservation that I got from someone who, in the very next breath, gives me a recipe for a Reuben sandwich (p. 48) that doesn’t list corned beef as an ingredient.
Thus my readers are advised: follow this book’s instructions for “lactic acid fermentation” at your peril. There’s no tellin’ what they forgot to put in there. If you do as the authors suggest despite my warning, I’d recommend that you stock up on cheddar cheese and Kaopectate and keep the doctor’s phone number handy.
The Deacon sez: One star for all the pretty pictures. Take the rest of this book with a large grain of salt.