by Jessica Goldblatt Barber
Sauerkraut originates in Germany and consists of lacto-fermented cabbage. A few trivial facts: Explorer James Cook was well known to bring vitamin C-rich sauerkraut in his travels to prevent the men from suffering from scurvy. During World War I American companies renamed sauerkraut “liberty cabbage,” a bit like today’s “freedom fries.”
- Four or five heads of read or green cabbage, shredded;
- 1/4 cup sea salt;
- Place the shredded cabbage little by little in your fermentation jar, pounding them vigorously and sprinkling some of the sea salt as you go.
- Make sure the mixture fills the jar up to one inch below the top (because of the expansion), adding more if needed, and that the extracted water covers the vegetables entirely. If not, create a brine of two tablespoons sea salt to four cups water and add it to the cabbage.
- Press the vegetables and keep them under the brine by placing a plate or a lid on top weighted down by a rock or a jug of water. Cover with a clean towel if needed to keep out fruit flies.
- Place the fermentation jar in a warm spot in your kitchen and allow the sauerkraut to ferment for seven to 10 days.
- Check on it from time to time to be sure that the brine covers the vegetables and to remove any mold that may form on the surface.
- A good way to know when it’s ready is to taste it during the fermentation process and move it to the refrigerator when you’re satisfied with the taste.
Jessica Goldblatt Barber is the owner of Interiors Green — the Home and Living Store at 2021 Main Street in Bethlehem, NH.