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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