Sauerkraut Update: Success

sauerkraut

Sauerkraut

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.

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11 thoughts on “Sauerkraut Update: Success

  1. Good for you! I glad it worked out.
    It’s really cold here. I keep mine on the veranda (I have about six quarts of it).

    Are you going straight into brewing, or are you going to play more with fermented veggies?

    • I’m not sure yet. I have a neighbor who is an accomplished brewer and has promised to have me over next brewing day, but I don’t know when that will happen.

  2. Glad it worked out! I hope to get motivated to try fermenting something myself soon, probably kimchi because I like spicy foods but don’t want to pay the price it costs in the grocery store. I have some big wide-mouth jars, so ideally I won’t need to buy anything to try it (besides the ingredients).
    My husband made beer many years ago when we were young and less busy with kids, but he never liked what he made as well as what he could buy. And now we’re in Colorado with tons of awesome beer so it’s easier to just buy it 🙂

  3. I am so excited for you that it worked this time! Congrats! But definitely don’t can it. The whole point of kraut is the wonderful mix of beneficial microorganisms. Canning would kill them, leaving you with just plain salty leaves, which would be a bummer after all that work.

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