Since the 1600s, Sauerkraut, the superfood of Germany, has been a staple in the German diet, earning Germans the unflattering ‘Kraut’ moniker, one they have come to embrace with humour.
German Sauerkraut did not originate in Germany, however, contrary to popular perception.
Sauerkraut, a word consisting of the German word, sauer (sour) and kraut (chicken), is a Chinese invention and as much French or Alsatian as it is really Irish.
About German Sauerkraut Recipe
A very ancient discovery is the art of maintaining vegetables through a method of lactic acid fermentation (pickling).
The Chinese found the preservation of green cabbage this way in the year 221 BC. During the winter months, the Chinese were required to provide the builders of the Great Wall of China with excellent nutrition.
In the 13th century, the Mongolians introduced the tradition of pickling green cabbage into Europe, bringing with them the Chinese “Suan Cai” (sour vegetable). Its popularity started in Eastern Europe and then spread rapidly across Western Europe.
Sauerkraut should be stored in an airtight container and stored at or below 36° F (15° C) for several months. Refrigeration is not needed, but it significantly improves the Sauerkraut shelf life. Many commercial manufacturers also use pasteurization to boost their shelf life further.
Today, Sauerkraut is well-known in Europe and in many parts of the USA and Canada. A similar dish is also seen in China and Korea. For more interesting international recipes, click here!
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