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Home » Hey! What’s That Smell? My Adventure with Sauerkraut, Part 2

Hey! What’s That Smell? My Adventure with Sauerkraut, Part 2

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A little over two weeks ago, I began an experiment with fermented food. After reading an interview with "fermentation fetishist" Sandor Katz, I decided to try my hand at making my own sauerkraut.

When I told this to people, the reactions I received confirmed what Katz had said in the interview — that people are generally freaked out about microbes. Despite the long tradition of fermented foods, it seems that a large percentage of the population (yes, my sample size was way too small and I am therefore generalizing like crazy here) thinks that food is only safe if it comes in a nice package, packed at a giant warehouse full of stainless steel tables and workers wearing hair nets and rubber gloves.

I was not discouraged. The kraut was relatively easy to put together and has been living (Yes! Living!) peacefully on a shelf in our pantry. I took a look yesterday morning and the lovely pink color forced the decision: tomorrow would be the day.

I removed the towel from the top of the jar, took out the "weight" (a dessert glass), and observed the bloom of mold. I was ready for this, as both Katz and Alton Brown say that this is normal. I skimmed it off, removed one piece of cabbage that had escaped from under the glass, and dumped the jar's contents into a strainer. After a quick rinse, the kraut was poured into the glass bowl seen in the photo. Look at that color! Katz was right. Adding red cabbage to the mixture will cause everything to turn pink.

Ah, but what about the taste? I swear, this is the best sauerkraut I have ever eaten. It's tangy with just the right amount of bite. Best of all, it's very crunchy. We loved it immediately… and cooked up a batch of hot dogs as the first "test." Go ahead and make fun of us, because we made soy dogs. Still, the mixture of hot dog, ketchup, and kraut was heavenly. We're convinced. The real fermentation crock will be on order soon.

The remainder of the kraut was placed into another jar and was sent off to the refrigerator, to be launched onto the kielbasa that will arrive later in the week. Mmmmmm…

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About Mark Saleski

  • http://blogcritics.org Lisa McKay

    So much for the naysayers. It looks beautiful!

  • JPD

    Way to go Mark! The results look amazing.