Sauerkraut . Sauerkraut (from French sauerkraut and this from German sauerkraut , ‘col agria’, through Alsatian sürkrüt, in Polish kiszona kapusta) is a typical food from Alsace , Germany and Poland that is prepared by fermenting cabbage leaves ( cabbage) in salted water (brine). It is used in most cases as an accompaniment to dishes that are generally seasoned with some spices such as juniper or pepper, and various sausages and pork.


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  • 1 Story
  • 2 Elaboration
  • 3 Alternative processing
    • 1 Ingredients
  • 4 Old production
  • 5 Easy sauerkraut or fake sauerkraut
    • 1 Ingredients
    • 2 Preparation
    • 3 Properties
  • 6 Plates with sauerkraut
  • 7 Gastronomy of Germany
  • 8 Gastronomy of Austria
  • 9 Gastronomy of Chile
  • 10 Gastronomy of France
  • 11 Gastronomy of the Netherlands
  • 12 Gastronomy of Hungary
  • 13 Gastronomy of Poland
  • 14 Gastronomy of Switzerland
  • 15 Meals from Serbia
  • 16 Similar Meals
  • 17 Sources


It seems that the first references to the production of sauerkraut come from northern China and it was exported to Europe through the expansion of the Mongols. It is very present in all the gastronomies of Eastern Europe.

The Jewish tribes that inhabit these parts of Europe transmitted the production of Chinese cabbage (Brassica pekinensis) to the countries of western Europe. Due to its preservation capacity for long periods of time, it has been used in Germany , the Netherlands and Poland to be consumed during winter periods when it is necessary to preserve vegetables to balance the diet. It is usually eaten with pork and Jewish recipes often use sauerkraut to make duck and goose. Captain Cook used to carry barrels of sauerkraut on his ships so that the crew had a chance to prevent scurvy.


Sauerkraut is made with finely chopped cabbages that are mixed with salt and put together in an anaerobic container for fermentation to occur; the mission of the salt is to dry the vegetables until it has a low percentage of water, it must be distributed evenly over the chopped cabbage, otherwise a ‘pink sauerkraut’ will be obtained. During this process fungi are formed on the surface, in order to eliminate them completely once prepared and trying to ensure that the level of water with salt is present on the surface, a wood is installed covering the surface and a weight on it (bottle with water) and a glass of vegetable oil is poured into the container, when that oil remains afloat it makes it impossible to contact the air with salty water (brine) and eliminates the possibility of fungus formation.

Fermentation is initiated by Leuconostoc mesenteroides while other bacteria (mainly Lactobacillus, Streptococcus, and Pediococcus spp.) Are those that continue the fermentation process inside the container; the fermentation temperature must be below 18 ° C for it to be produced with guarantees and with an acid taste (provided by lactic acid and acetic acid, the latter in a lower proportion).

Alternative elaboration


  • 5 kg firm and ripe cabbages, without outer leaves, cracked and without the core
  • 750 g untreated sea salt

Shred the 2.5 kg of cabbage, with a knife or sharp knife, forming strips the thickness of a coin. Put them in a large salad bowl, and sprinkle with 3 tablespoons of salt, and mix with your hands or with a stainless steel spoon. Wash a large stoneware container with soapy water, rinse and blanch with boiling water, drain and place the salted cabbage in batches in the container. Juices will form as you pack it and press down. The process is repeated until the container is full, 1 dm from the edge. Make sure the juice covers the cabbage, if not, make an additional brine by mixing 2 tablespoons of salt with 1 L of boiling water, and cool to room temperature before pouring into the container. Cover the cabbage and put a weight on it to keep it submerged in the brine. Put several polyethylene bags inside another to obtain a multiple thickness bag and fill it with the brine solution (2 tablespoons of salt / 1 L of water) and put it on the cabbage. The bag should fit well with the inside of the pot, to keep the cabbage out of the air, this prevents the growth of molds and / or ferments. The amount of brine in the bag can be varied to keep the cabbage submerged. Twist and tie the bag to close it. The amount of brine in the bag can be varied to keep the cabbage submerged. Twist and tie the bag to close it. The amount of brine in the bag can be varied to keep the cabbage submerged. Twist and tie the bag to close it.

And then with a thick towel, tying around the pot to hold everything (plastic and towel). Do not open until fermentation has concluded. Fermentation begins on the 2nd day, where the time taken will depend on the ambient temperature: optimum ambient temperature to obtain the sauerkraut 24ºC, taking 3 weeks; at 21 ºC 4 weeks; at 18 ° C, 5 weeks; at 16 ºC, 6 weeks. Temperatures above 24 ºC are inconvenient since they accelerate the fermentation too much and it breaks down.

The ambient temperature is monitored to determine when to check the sauerkraut. Remove cover. The fermentation will be complete when the bubbling stops and when no more bubbles rise to the surface by gently tapping the pot.

Old elaboration

The old system consisted of compressing the cabbage with a bag filled with brine, taking care of the sauerkraut daily by covering the cabbage with a clean white canvas. And on top of that a heavy and blanched plate fitted inside the pot. The canvas is folded over the plate; and clean glass jars filled with water are used as weights, close them with their metal lids and clamps, and blanch them before resting them on the plate. Sufficient weights should be used so that the brine is 5 cm above the plate, facilitating daily foaming. If necessary, prepare additional brine. Cover the pot with a thick terrycloth towel and tie. Uncover the pot each day, remove the yeast or mold layer with a scalded stainless steel spoon. Have a second jar ready for weight, previously blanched, to replace the previous one. Change the plate and towel for clean ones. Cover the pot again with a clean towel.

Sauerkraut can be kept in the refrigerator after fermentation is complete. If you want to keep it longer, bring it to a boil in a large saucepan, then put it in jars and sterilize in a water bath for 20 min.

Sauerkraut can be served cold in salads, or hot with meats. Its acidity depends on the cooking time. Simply heat it if you want it to be strong and crispy. If you want a milder flavor, cook it longer. Winter cabbage is most appropriate for sauerkraut, because it has more sugar. Sauerkraut (sauerkraut) is almost essential to accompany most of the famous German sausages, especially those from Nuremberg. The only exception, the sausage that is never served with sauerkraut is the Munich Weisswurst (white sausage), which is accompanied by slightly sweet mustard.

Easy or false sauerkraut


  • Cabbage, 1 medium
  • Oil , 1 tablespoon
  • Black peppercorns, 1 tablespoon
  • Dry white wine , a glass
  • Wine vinegar , 5 tablespoons
  • Grain salt


  • Wash the cabbage, cut it into quarters, remove and discard the hard stem in the center and cut the leaves with a very sharp blade, very finely
  • Heat the oil in a pot, add the cabbage, salt and pepper and let it cook, stirring, about five minutes
  • Simmer until the cabbage is tender
  • Add the vinegar and wine, and cook 10 minutes more


Due to its vitamin content (especially vitamin C), sauerkraut has been used as a contribution of vitamins stored in the gastronomies of northern Europe, due to the existence of long winters, in which some of the vegetables could not last as long. preserved, the effect is to combat the possible deficiencies of these vitamins. The use of this food in the food of ship crews to prevent scurvy is well known since the 17th century.

Dishes with sauerkraut

As a general rule, this fermented product is usually eaten as a garnish for various meat dishes as well as in salads. It is an ingredient in some of the cuisines of Europe.

Gastronomy of Germany

  • In Hesse they usually eat ribs with sauerkraut (Frankfurter Rippchen) ribs

brine pork cooked with sauerkraut.

  • Sauerkraut is, in Bavarian gastronomy, an important part of the dish called

Schlachtschüssel (meat from offal from slaughter).

  • In the kitchen of Berlin-Brandenburg the pork knuckle (Eisbein) is made with


  • In Franconia, the sauerkraut is cooked several times with pork or beef, to provide it with a strong flavor, which is why the Franconian sauerkraut is generally darker. It is usually eaten with different types of sausages and

sausages such as: the Bratwurst, the Stadtwurst (Lyon sausage), the Leberknödeln (liver dumplings) or accompanying meat dishes.

  • A typical dish in German gastronomy originating from its central part is the

dish called Klunz which is mashed potatoes over sauerkraut and lard.

  • Sauerkraut in Saxony is similar to that of Franconia, but has an additional spice


Gastronomy of Austria

  • In Austria there is the Bauernschmaus (farmer’s delight), with black pudding and sausages as well as pork accompanied with knödel (bread dough dumplings).

Gastronomy of Chile

  • Sauerkraut arrived in Chile through German immigrants, and has been part of the

Traditional Chilean “Complete”, a type of hot dog with sausage, tomato, avocado, mayonnaise and sauerkraut. Likewise, it is common to see it served as an accompaniment to other dishes or as part of salads in regions of the country with a high German tradition.

Gastronomy of france

  • In Alsace sauerkraut can be seen in most dishes, and is eaten as an accompaniment to sausages such as sausages. It is not usually cooked much and its color is quite light.

Dutch gastronomy

In the Netherlands there is a very typical dish based on zuurkool (acid cabbage), which is how the cabbage that undergoes this process for its preservation is called, is the zuurkool stamppot and which consists of cooked potatoes and mashed scrambled with the cabbage and served with a few cubes of fried bacon (spekjes) on top and a smoked sausage called “gelderse rookworst” (the richest are those of Hema) to which a meat sauce is added to make it more digestible, this dish is typical from the harsh Dutch winter. It is also used in many other recipes, and is usually accompanied with pineapple (pineapple) or raisins.

Gastronomy of Hungary

  • In Hungary it is usually eaten mixed with some goulash, in this country sauerkraut has a slightly spicier flavor.

Gastronomy of Poland

  • Sauerkraut is the main part of the Polish national dish called bigos (hot stew), kapuśniak or pierogi.

Gastronomy of Switzerland

  • Accompany the Berner Platte (a braised mix of different types of meat) and Swiss Schlachtplatte

Meals from Serbia

In Serbia, the typical dish made from sauerkraut is called “podvarak”. It is thinly sliced ​​and baked baked sauerkraut, to which are added pork chops, bacon or smoked pork. Another version can be a mixture of sauerkraut, rice and minced meat, made in the oven .

Another type of Serbian national sauerkraut food is called “sarma”. It is made from whole sauerkraut leaves, stuffed with minced meat and rice. The “packets” are placed in a saucepan, filled with water and added ribs or smoked pork, fresh pork and bacon and left on the low heat for hours. The more time you spend in the fire, the tastier it becomes.

Laurel and black pepper are the essential ingredients, regardless of the way of preparation.

Podvarak and sarma are foods that are also made in other Balkan countries: Croatia , Bulgaria , Bosnia and Herzegovina , Montenegro , Macedonia , Greece , Romania , Turkey .

Similar meals

Sauerkraut is very similar in other countries, in this way you have:

  • In Korea, kimchi is made from fermented cabbages and peppers.
  • In Japan there is the tsukemono.


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