The age old method of fermentation adds a wide complexity of flavours to food, imparting a wonderful savoury tang. Many of the tastiest foods have been fermented: cheese, bread, yogurt, sauerkraut, olives, miso… this process adds many benefits to our digestion. In France cornichons – fermented not pickled – were eaten with charcuterie to aid in the digestion of the fatty meat.
Sauerkraut and kimchi is made through the process of ‘lacto-fermentation’: Lactobacilli are present on all living organisms, and fermentation converts this bacteria, along with the vegetable starches and sugars, into lactic acid. Lactic acid preserves the vegetables, increases the vitamin content – especially the B vitamins, strengthens the digestability, and encourages the growth of healthy gut flora.
Eat yours with:
- Cheese, or charcuterie, and rye bread
- In a toasted sandwich
- Stuffed in to a burger
- Added to a stir fry
- Spooned in to an omlette or scrambled eggs
- Stirred in to a salad
- Sprinkled on to soup
- As a condiment with just about any meal
If sauerkraut is heated to a high temperature it will kill the good bacteria, so it is better to just stir it through the cooked food.
“…one of the keys to our well-being is the well-being of the microflora with whom we share (our) bodies, and with whom we co-evolved. And it looks like they really, really like sauerkraut.” Michael Pollan 2011