in Slovak is also known as a Sauerkraut in Western Europe and its originally German word is commonly used in USA .
Directly translated: “sour cabbage”, is finely cut cabbage that has been fermented by various lactic acid bacteria.
It has a long shelf-life and a distinctive sour flavor, both of which result from the lactic acid that forms when the bacteria ferment the sugars in the cabbage. Coleslaw, an unfermented dish made from fresh cabbage, may also be made with an acidic taste, but is otherwise quite different.
Sauerkraut is often unpasteurised and sold in jars.
Sauerkraut is the main ingredient of the German and Central and Eastern Europe meal combined with sausages , other salted meats and potatoes.
Sauerkraut is made by a process of pickling that is analogous to how traditional (not heat-treated)pickled cucumbers are made. Fully cured sauerkraut keeps for several months in an airtight container stored at 15 °C (60 °F) or below. Refrigeration is not required to prolong storage life. German sauerkraut is often flavoured with juniper berries.There are apples added to Slovak “Kysla Kapusta” or beets to add color.
Kysla kapusta is also the most important ingredient in the SHCHI, a traditional soup of Russia where it has been known as far back as the 9th century, the time of the import of cabbage from Byzantium.
Health benefits have been claimed for sauerkraut. It contains vitamin C and other nutrients. If unpasteurised and uncooked it also contains live lactobacili and other harmless and possibly beneficial microbes.
Before frozen food and the importation of foods from the Southern Europe became readily available in central Europe, sauerkraut provided a source of nutrients during the winter. James Cook always took a store of sauerkraut on his sea voyages, since experience had taught him it prevented scurvy.
Sauerkraut is also a source of biogenic amines, such as tyramine, which may cause adverse reactions in sensitive people. It also provides various cancer-fighting compounds including isothiocyanate and sulphoraphane
Versions of sauerkraut or kysla kapusta appeared in China as far back as 2,000 years ago. It is believed to have been introduced to Europe in its present form 1,000 years later by Genghis Khan after plundering China. The Tatars took it in their saddlebags to Europe. There it took root mostly in Eastern European and Germanic cuisines, but also in other countries including France, where the name became choucroute.
To make sauerkraut the cabbage is finely shredded, layered with salt and juniper and left to ferment in wooden barrels. Traditionally it is served with pork, Strasbourg sausage or frankfurters, bacon, smoked pork or smoked sausages, accompanied typically by roasted or steamed potatoes or dumplings.
Kysla Kapusta or Sauerkraut , along with pork, is eaten traditionally in Slovakia ans also in Pennsylvania on New Years Day. The tradition is thought to bring good luck for the upcoming year.
Here is quick recipe for you from www.cooks.com:
|GERMAN BRATWURST WITH SAUERKRAUT|
32 oz. sauerkraut
1 sm. onion, chopped
1 tart apple, peeled and finely chopped
5 slices bacon, fried and crumbled
1-2 c. milk
4 tbsp. butter
Heat sauerkraut in double boiler. Mix onion and apple with sauerkraut. Combine bacon and bacon drippings with sauerkraut mixture. Cover and cook for one hour. Meanwhile, soak bratwurst in milk for 30 minutes. Melt butter in frying pan. Add bratwurst and fry slowly until well heated. Serve bratwurst on top of sauerkraut. Yields 5 servings.