How To: Rotten Cabbage

A box of pickling salt and a head of Cabbage are soon to be wed in deliciousness

Rotten cabbage, otherwise known as sauerkraut, is one my my favorite foods.  Preserved by Lactobacilli, sauerkraut is one of many foods that are made possible by microorganisms.  Beer, wine, yogurt, cheese, kimchi, vinegar, bread, real pickles, and salami are all fermented foods.  Gross, right?!

A few years back I had an abundance of cabbage in the garden.  Not knowing what to do with it, I decided to be a little adventuresome.  Earlier that year I had purchased a few pickling crocks on sale in hopes of trying to make some pickles, so of course my mind went right to sauerkraut!  The first batch I made was delicious!  Sure, I was a little grossed out by having to pick the mold and scum off of the brine, but one must do what is necessary.

The process of making sauerkraut is simple: Cut up cabbage into super-thin strips, add salt and mix, wait for salt to suck water out of cabbage, wait a few weeks, eat.

Chopped Cabbage and Salt

I may be oversimplifying things, but that’s about all there is.  If you absolutely love cabbage, you can eat it the way it is right now and it is still amazingly delicious!  The salt-to-cabbage ratio seems to be different for almost everyone that makes sauerkraut.  I’ve looked at quite a few recipes online and they are all inconsistent.  Two of my favorite methods are from PickYourOwn.org and Wild Fermentation.

Smashed Cabbage under a plate

I’ll be sure and keep everyone updated on my newly created living and breathing sauerkraut as it grows and ages.  It will probably take a little longer than usual due to the lower temperatures, but that’s alright–I’ve got nowhere to go.