A few days ago, I posted asking for assistance for why my fermentation projects are always going awry. For the current batch of kraut, I counseled patience for myself. After all, I was pretty sure it wasn’t going to start smelling any worse, and if it was bad-bad instead of temporarily bad on the way to good, there was no rescuing it.
My first sign of success was when I returned from a hike yesterday, walked inside and noticed the kitchen didn’t smell. I checked the jar. No mold or slime, no goo, just a little foam at the top and the cabbage is still all submerged. No nasty smell. I ventured a taste. Sour-salty-cabbage with a bit of toothsomeness.
I wasn’t struck with amazement at how good it was or anything. I don’t much care for pickled cabbage in vinegar so I didn’t have high hopes that the real thing would be some kind of culinary epiphany. But I liked the fermented version better than the pickled version, and I could see eating this as a condiment with a strongly flavored meat like venison or wild boar. I certainly understand better now why cultures have used lactofermentation as a food preservation method: it does manage to both preserve some of the original characteristics of the cabbage, but with a new taste and in a form that is fairly shelf stable.
Since I doubted I would like it to be more sour, I popped a ReCap lid on mine and into the fridge it went to stop the fermentation process. Overnight it absorbed some of the brine, and despite the fact I didn’t really get excited over it yesterday, I found myself repeatedly nibbling on it while prepping the photo above. It has a somewhat addictive quality, it seems.
Perhaps I will pair it with some spicy sausage? I don’t believe I would can sauerkraut, though. It would be too mushy.
Now that I have a single successful fermentation project under by belt, I feel more confident about tackling brewing.