I’m a convert to the fermentation congregation fomented by the enthusiastic sandor kraut.
After hearing him speak, and tasting the dozen or so delicious and wildly varied fermented foods he’d laid out at last month’s Slow Food Conference, I took home his book Wild Fermentation.
Then waited til the Dumpster Gods showered me with cabbage.
I frequently find chopped purple cabbage –caseloads– washed and everything, bring it home full of virtuous plans…only to ‘forget about it’ because I really hate the smell of cooking crucifers. SulfurrrrrrBLEAGH.
BUT! According to his book you can simply throw ia couple tablespoons of salt into a huge tub of raw chopped cabbage (indeed, damn near any other vegetable, maybe not potatoes) , punch down the mass, keep a plate plus a weight on it (have I already told you this…uh-oh..)and within a day or so, you get sauerkraut which will change over time…getting better! A PROCASTINATOR’S DREAM!
Here’s what mine looked like after three weeks of ignoring it after the two day “punch it down every few hours” period.
A magnificent pink mantle of fuzzy mold lay across the top…and since it’s harmless, you just shove it aside (it’s ok to ingest), fish out the cabbage, and enjoy.
My friend Peter Young of Plainfield Vermont used to grow, ferment and sell his own Hill Farm kraut back in the early eighties when organic was just beginning to get serious attention from visionary farmers (like him). I couldn’t imagine liking sauerkraut, so I didn’t even sample it. Years later, Peter told me he had to be persuaded, too. The kraut sold in supermarkets was that bad….