This post is a follow-up to one I wrote a couple weeks ago (click here to read the original). If you're a reader of this blog you already know that I have a fascination with fermented foods (among other things), and sauerkraut is not only the most obvious of these but probably the most common. I've made sauerkraut many times before but what is unusual about this particular batch is that it was made with kraut that I grew myself...it went from the ground to the fermenting bucket within 30 minutes. Anyhow, and to cut-to-the chase...the current batch of sauerkraut (with hot peppers) is ready and geeze 'o man is it delicious.
When eaten raw fermented foods are akin to a wonder drug...they are the best natural pro-biotic on the market. Now some (many) may shriek at the thought of eating raw sauerkraut, but I'm not talking about supermarket-bought canned or jarred cabbage...this is the real deal; we're talking about two different things. Fresh sauerkraut is so easy to make at home but you could also buy it at a food co-op or health food store (at exorbitant prices). Simply said, when you eat raw fermented foods you are eating live foods...it has an efflorescence on the tongue and--when made correctly--a flavor that will keep you coming back for more.
The house in which I live was built, to the best that I can figure, during or before the American Civil War. According to the deed to the house the first few owners had German surnames. During this time there was of course no central heat, electricity, refrigeration, or plumbing. The house is also built on a teeny basement that is now mostly occupied by a steam boiler and octopus-like pipes; it's original purpose, I'm sure, was a root cellar. It would probably be a fair bet to think that during those times there often bubble crocks of kraut in the basement, which of course is how they would preserve vegetables back then.
I thought of this as I ate some of the kraut with my dinner tonight, and I knew the original owners of this house would approve.
To read more about fermented foods and their health benefits, or for additional recipes, click here.
1 small head of cabbage
2 tablespoons kosher salt