If you caught my post on October 26th, you'll know exactly what's been sitting in a veiled tub on top of my refrigerator for the past three weeks. The mysterious contents of my tub have been patient, biding their time and twiddling their thumbs until their day of glory finally arrives. Well ladies and gentlemen, that day has finally come.
This evening in a moment of culinary epic-ness , I pulled back the cheese cloth to unveil my very first homemade sauerkraut. It was purple. It was sour. It was tangy and flavorful. In short, it was everything I'd ever wanted from a three-week-old fermented cabbage. Perhaps you may find my enthusiasm misdirected. I am, after all, aiming it at a microbe-packed vegetable mash. But allow me tell to you just a few of the reasons that homemade sauerkraut is something to celebrate.
Reason #1: Homemade sauerkraut is culinary alchemy. You start with cabbage, salt, and your own two hands, and you end up with a zesty condiment/side dish that in no way resembles the vegetable from which it came. This, my friends, is what they call getting something for nothing.
Reason #2: Homemade sauerkraut is the embodiment of your individuality. I'm deadpan serious when I say that no two krauts are ever the same. From the vegetables you choose, to the spices you select, to the very microbes that call your kitchen home, there are myriad factors that ensure that each sauerkraut is unique and special. Have you been searching your soul for what makes you different from everyone else? Start by making a sauerkraut.
Reason #3: Homemade sauerkraut is tastier and cheaper than the store bought stuff. Plain and simple, folks.
Reason #4: Homemade sauerkraut makes you a cooler person. Picture this. You're at a swanky party chatting with two dapper gentlemen. After one casually mentions that he recently purchased an original Van Gough, the other notes that he just finished his latest batch of homemade sauerkraut. Yeah, I'd give the second guy my phone number too.
Reason #5: Homemade sauerkraut is one of the world's healthiest super-foods. The vast majority of store-bought sauerkraut has been pasteurized, meaning that all the beneficial live cultures have been killed. Your homemade kraut, on the other hand, is teaming with them. Fermented foods have long been hailed as exceptionally good for the body. When microbes break down the nutrients in a given food for you (as is the case with fermentation), the nutrients become more accessible during digestion. Even better, eating the microbes themselves in fermented foods helps to replace your own gastrointestinal flora, so that other foods are more easily digested as well. Sound unnecessarily medical? It's not. All this simply translates to fewer belly aches, more vitamins, and increased health and happiness.
Reason #6: Homemade sauerkraut isn't the end, but rather, it's just the beginning. Check out this quirky website to learn about the millions of recipes that call for a tasty homemade kraut. Of particular interest is the dessert section...