“I thought I didn’t like sauerkraut, but I love this!”
That’s a common reaction from people when we offer free samples of our Artisan Cultures sauerkraut at the farmer’s market. Many have only tasted the store-bought varieties, and others have never even tried it. When Mom runs the booth, she coaxes passerby’s to come try a sample. She even told one wary fella to “put on his big boy pants and give it a try.” He explained how much he hates sauerkraut, but finally caved and loved it. Every blue moon we meet the rare kraut connoisseurs who even make it at home; many exclaiming “wow, my home-brew isn’t near as good as this!” As one customer said “that’s the best friggin’ thing I’ve ever tasted.”
What makes our sauerkraut so different?
Food-making is a work of art. Every ingredient must meet or exceed our stringent standards. This ensures we start with the highest quality of fresh vegetables, herbs and spices. We don’t use dried spices in our products. We begin by washing and cutting bunches of aromatic baby dill and peel pounds of garlic cloves, turmeric, and ginger root. We grind whole peppercorns and line the prep tables with the ingredients. We wash the cabbage in well water, then peel, quarter and shred it into the barrel — adding pink Himalayan salt to create the brine. As we mix the ingredients in the barrel by hand, we enjoy breathing deeply to take in the delectable aromas. Once we’re finished, we submerge the solids under the brine with a weight and seal the top of the barrel with a water lock, to prevent any airborne contaminates.
Long Fermentation Time & Cold Aging
Greatness cannot be rushed. Like a fine wine or an aged cheese, our sauerkraut requires a lot of time to produce a superior product. We age it for a minimum of three months (two months at 78° Fahrenheit, then cold-aged for another 1-2 months at 40°). Many companies ferment sauerkraut for 2-3 weeks, then package and sell it. Our unusually long fermentation time was much more common in generations past. Historically, sauerkraut was aged in cellars for up to six months during fall and winter. Research has shown that cold-aging sauerkraut (particularly toward the end of a long fermentation cycle) increases certain colonies of probiotics, further improving the health benefits of the finished product.
It’s awesome that so many people enjoy our products. We turn skeptics into “kraut converts” routinely. Our mission is to create the most delicious cultured foods available, and to help shed light on the amazing health benefits of raw probiotic fare. The next time you’re making a chicken salad or grilling bratwurst, consider adding some spicy Rebel Red or Garlic Dill for a zesty topper.