The crunch, slightly tart flavor, and the pickle juice — the three reasons why I love sauerkraut, fermented cabbage with carrots and raisins or cranberries. You can find creative variations of this pickle that includes beets, tomatoes, eggplants, etc. in many parts of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. My earliest memories of eating this delicacy involves big family gatherings in Baku, where kələm turşusu (literally, “pickled cabbage”) is served along with fatty and carb-heavy dinner meals such as pilafs and kebabs.
I have recently started pairing sauerkraut with my favorite cheese, that deserves its own Confessions of a Foodie (CoF) post, sharp cheddar. The nutty taste of the cheese, coupled with its milkiness and tang, blend so well with sauerkraut. I am no nutrition expert but I think a small plate of sauerkraut with a few slices of sharp cheddar could serve as a balanced meal (you better not quote me on this).
Regardless of whether you are in Russia, where квашенная капуста (literally, “fermented cabbage”) is a common grocery item or in Germany, where it is more popular as a side dish served warm, sauerkraut has to be the most delicious way of eating cabbage. Writing about fermented cabbage makes my taste buds salivate as the images of family feasts, where plates full of pickles and appetizers are stacked on top of each other, scroll through my mind. Until the next CoF post, I have to make another visit to the Netcost Market to stock up on sauerkraut.