“ Manufacturer: Dawtona / Type: Condiments „
Where I grew up sauerkraut (German for sour cabbage) was one of favourite side dishes or even important ingredient of a meal and there are two very strong reasons for that: its tremendous health benefits (it's healthier than yoghurt and many vegetables and it even fights cancer) and its versatility. Unfortunately many people in this country are put off by its acidity, preparing method and flavour, which needn't be a problem as I'll expand later.
Sauerkraut is finely shredded white cabbage left to ferment (pickle) for few weeks in its own juices with addition of only salt (as opposed to cabbage in coleslaw which is prepared in vinegar) with its own friendly lactic bacterias. This is not leaving food to rot, as some may think, but to change its taste and texture in controlled environment (namely: no air).
It is pretty straightforward to make yourself and in parts of central and eastern Europe when it's most popular people have been doing just that for many years just like they've been pickling their cucumbers in water. It's easier however to pick a jar of the stuff from 'pickles' or 'international' shelf of a supermarket, especially it costs £1.40 (sometimes even £1) for a big jar filled to bream. I have tried them all and the best one in my modest opinion is pictured Dawtona Sauerkraut imported from Poland (crisp yet tender and with rich, well balanced flavours).
There is abundance of recipes for sauerkraut based dishes on the internet and I even at one point seen a recipe for Sauerkraut and pineapple salad although even I daren't try it :)
As a guideline for beginners to familiarise themselves with its full potential I recommend to simmer it for hour and a half with bay leaves and caraway seeds and put it as a small side to your pork and potatoes with gravy - its delicious and you'll quickly know what it's capable of.
Hardcore fans including myself eat raw sauerkraut by jars and there is nothing wrong with that (apart from the fact that they'll live longer) , however in people not accustomed with acidic meals they're stomach may not be very pleased with it as much as it is not that difficult to get used to.
Certainly, especially for those of you fed up with everything being saturated in barrels of vinegar, this is going to be a very welcome breath of fresh air (not literally unfortunately).