The Miracle of Sauerkraut.

DSCN0057Sauerkraut, or kapusta kiszona is one of the life essentials for me. It is a miraculous thing. Miraculous. Sometimes I wonder how people can live their lives without it?

When I was a child we lived in a smallish flat on the 10th floor of a huge block. It seems a bit cruel to make people live like that, but in reality it is much more enjoyable than you think. One of the “perks” of being an inhabitant of a block like that was (well, still is, I guess) the access to a cellar on the underground level.

We owned a “cell” there, which was quite small, but big enough to store the sufficient amount of home made jarred food to survive the winter. And, a big (around 40 l) stone pot with kiszona kapusta. There was a whole ritual of cabbage shredding in our flat. I do not think it happened every year…  it could even  be a one-off event… but I have vivid memories of that. Imagine, how much cabbage you have to shred to fill up a 40 l pot. Imagine doing this in a kitchen not bigger than 10 sq m. So exciting!

Then, after the pot had been placed in the cellar, I made regular trips with my mum to get a bit of stuff from down there. I remember eating sauerkraut in the lift on our way back and feeling immensely blessed by living so high and having so much time to eat sauerkraut. For some reason, it never tasted the same when eaten at home.

My mother insisted that eating it prevents from getting intestine parasites. I googled this recently and it looks like it is not only my mother’s belief. A lot of people in internet claim they got rid of nematodes (roundworms) by drinking sauerkraut juice. I did not find any scientific source confirming this, but will let you know if I do.

Anyway, a relatively credible source (Wikipedia) says that 100 g of kiszona kapusta contains 20 mg of vitamin C, 51 mg of calcium, 34 mg of phosphorus and significant amounts of vitamin E, carotenoids, polyphenols, phytonicides and above all of course probiotic bacteria.

Still, this is not the main reason why I said that sauerkraut is miraculous. I am happy to know that it is so healthy and beneficial, but I adore it so much mostly because it is so incredibly tasty and you can use it in so many ways and you will never get bored.

Read about making kiszona kapusta salad and soup in my next posts.

If you want to learn about history of Sauerkraut, I recommend this great article by one of my favourite authors:

Sauerkraut – The Quintessential Eastern European Vegetable

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