I tried sauerkraut for the first last Sunday. I know, right? I don't know why I've never tried it since I love cabbage and I love things that are fermented. I guess I just needed someone like David Edmundson from Salt and Savour to show me to way. David talked us through three different samples; one with caraway seed, one with horseradish and mustard seed, and one with red cabbage and ginger. They were so bright and fresh! The fermentation really cooked out the pungency of the horseradish and ginger, creating subtle flavors. David also told us all about the health benefits of sauerkraut.
Here is some info written by David for this post:
In 2010, at age 45 I was pushing my maximum weight level and was having some related health issues. I looked into weight loss strategies and paleo/primal type diets seemed to resonate as something workable. I really didn't want to get into the background or theory - I just wanted to know what to eat and what to avoid. Within a week of diet changes, I was feeling so much better overall that I started reading about the theories and about any nutritional info I could find online. There was a lot of info coming up regarding fermented foods like sauerkraut and their health benefits. Although I had eaten sauerkraut growing up, it was usually the cheap canned product you can find on the grocery store shelves. The first time I tried home made 'kraut I was amazed at how good it was. And as I enjoy cooking, I got a book or two to try my hand at making it. And what started as a hobby soon evolved into a commercial endeavor.
Oh....getting back to the stomach problems: when I started making sauerkraut, my personal consumption increased steadily. But initially, if I ate more than about a tablespoon of sauerkraut at a time, I had some rather unpleasant side effects. I think that was simply a result of having too little of the good bacteria in my system. Now, I eat as much as I want with no trouble - this just took some time to build up to. I feel like my system is just more resilient now.
And here's the interesting thing: the more I eat sauerkraut (and other fermented foods), the more I crave that pickled flavor as an accompaniment to every meal. And that sour flavor really does enhance savory flavors. Since we have taste-buds that detect sweet, sour, bitter, salt and savory tastes why would we neglect certain tastes? To me, a meal just doesn't seem complete if one of those elements is missing.
Part of my business growth strategy is dependent on increasing my production capacity. Unfortunately, a company such as Salt and Savour, which is not yet 3 years old has a difficult time getting traditional bank financing. So I've signed up for a crowd-funded loan to help me finance an upgraded food processor. If you're interested, you can find more info about that here: https://zip.kiva.org/loans/18018
If you see Salt and Savour at a local farmer's market, you should check them out! You can get free samples so you can see how good it is for yourself.