Many people believe that sauerkraut was originated by the Germans. The translation of this name is sour cabbage, but the Chinese have been making it for over 2,000 years. Although no one knows for sure, it is believed that Genghis Khan brought sauerkraut from China to Europe over 1,000 years ago. It ended up in Eastern Europe and in Germany and in France as well. Today it is served in many different countries in a variety of ways and is made with a variety of recipes. All of these use shredded cabbage that is fermented by lactic acid bacteria. It has a sour flavor that is distinctive around the globe. It is possible to find out many interesting facts and recipes on Sauerkraut.org.
Sauerkraut was used throughout history to maintain good health, especially in the winter months in Northern and Central Europe. It is rich in Vitamin C and lactobacilli, a type of bacteria that is commonly used in food production. Fermented foods such as yogurt, cheese, pickles, beer, wine, cocoa, and sourdough bread depend on these bacteria to develop their food characteristics. According to the history of the Tartars, they carried it in their saddlebags to Europe on their long trip. Cabbage was rooted and began to be grown in Germany and France, as well as Central Europe. Captain James Cook and other explorers were known for taking sauerkraut on their long voyages because it prevented scurvy.
This food is low in calories and provides dietary fiber. Besides being a source of Vitamin C, it has a small amount of Vitamin B6, iron, and sodium, and it is low in fat. It also contains sulphoraphane and isothiocyante that are known to be cancer fighting compounds in this food. Some people who are not used to eating acidic foods may develop a stomachache after eating sauerkraut. This is caused by the low pH and abundance of lactobacilli that are capable of upsetting the intestines of some of those who eat it. In most countries where it is frequently served, people have been eating it all their lives without any negative reaction. In some parts of Germany, children are given it to eat to keep their digestive systems healthy.
Many people consider sauerkraut to be a super food that has many health benefits. It is said to be able to cure an upset stomach because of the healthful bacteria that develop during fermentation. It is said that if a person has ingested food contaminated with E. coli, salmonella, and others, that sauerkraut stops the growth of these pathogenic organisms and prevents the person from becoming very ill. Some studies have shown that it can also inhibit the growth of cancer cells, especially breast cancer cells. It also protects against liver, lung, colon, and prostate cancer. Although raw or cooked cabbage has many healing properties, sauerkraut is believed to be better because of changes that it has gone through in the fermentation process.
Homemade sauerkraut can be made with cabbage, salt, and has living microbes that are believed to be supportive of good digestive health. Either red or green cabbage can be used to produce this tasty treat. After shredding the cabbage finely, it can be packed into a fermenting crock. Salt is added to draw the water out of the cabbage in the fermenting process. A tight lid is placed over the crock, and in time the sauerkraut is ready to eat. The salty liquid that results is known as brine. In about two weeks, it is ready to be put into jars and stored in the refrigerator until you are ready to eat it. Sauerkraut is also sold in grocery stores and supermarkets packed in cans, jars that are refrigerated, and in plastic bags that can also be found in refrigerated sections of stores.