I Finally Tried Sauerkraut

I Finally Tried Sauerkraut

I have been living in Germany for over a year, and I had somehow managed to avoid sauerkraut. For some strange reason, the idea of sour, fermented cabbage did not appeal to me. The Verlobter was appalled at this realization and decided to cook up a “real German dinner” for me, which consisted of sauerkraut, instant mashed potatoes, and bratwurst.

Sauerkraut
Sorry for the flash. I am not a great food photographer.

I almost missed the sauerkraut, because we couldn’t find it at Lidl – but then I would have been subjected to Rotkohl (or red cabbage) instead, which I have tried and do not like. The Verlobter thinks it was because I ate homemade Rotkohl instead of store bought, and somehow the store bought variety is better. I am not just doubtful of all German preparations of cabbage.

For those of you unfamiliar with sauerkraut, it is “finely cut cabbage that has been fermented by various lactic acid bacteria, including Leuconostoc, Lactobacillus, and Pediococcus. It has a long shelf life and a distinctive sour flavor, both of which result from the lactic acid that forms when the bacteria ferment the sugars in the cabbage.” (Wikipedia) Yuuuuum, bacteria cabbage! Fun fact, according to that Wikipedia page, during WWI, American sauerkraut producers renamed their sauerkraut “Liberty cabbage” so that people would still buy it. I’ll have some Liberty Cabbage with a side of Freedom Fries, please!

Unsurprisingly, I am not into sauerkraut. I tried a small bite on its own and was actually surprised at how sour it was. It has sour in the name, so I don’t know what I was expecting. The Verlobter suggested I mix it with the bratwurst and potatoes, which made it tolerable, but once I ran out of potatoes and bratwurst, I was done eating it. My assimilation into German culture is clearly not complete. The Verlobter (who is going to need a new name soon) thinks it’s just a matter of time before I embrace it like I embraced sparkling water. I, however, am still quite skeptical.

15 thoughts on “I Finally Tried Sauerkraut

    1. The Verlobter has a thing about mixing sweet and savory foods, but I wonder if that would make the sauerkraut taste better for me. Maybe I can talk him into giving it a try!

          1. That may explain why I’ve never heard of anyone with an apple allergy until I came to Germany.

  1. What? Store-bought over home made? The Verlobter is weird 😉 Sauerkraut is horrible no matter what you do with it. He could at least have made you real potatoes!

  2. Lightly fry it with Spätzle, mmmmmh! I hated it at first too, but I live in Sauerkraut country so you kinda have to deal with it… Also good in Hungarian goulash, and definitely better in winter.

  3. You don’t like the bacteria in Sauerkraut but you love bacteria like Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Streptococcus thermophilus or Lactobacillus acidophilus?
    Without these bacteria there is no joghurt!
    Bacteria produces wonderful substances and the most wonderful is the –no, not the Sauerkraut or joghurt fermentation- alcoholic fermentation! 🙂

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