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Sauerkraut is made from shredded cabbage that is fermented and pickled in a brine of salt and cabbage juice. The juice and brine come about through how it is made: layers of cabbage with alternating layers of salt, which is then pressed down, squeezing juices out of the cabbage.

Varieties include Bavarian (milder flavour, with sugar and caraway seeds added), Sauerkraut with celery seed, Winekraut (which has white wine in it), and Sauerkraut Salad, which has onions, red peppers and vinegar mixed in.

Sauerkraut can be eaten cold or hot. While it is often served hot with pork dishes, it is also a favourite hot dog topping in America, and is used in deli sandwiches such as Reubens.

You can buy it canned, jarred or fresh in bags in the chiller sections of some supermarkets and delis.

Cooking Tips

If you find the flavour of canned or jarred Sauerkraut too pungent, you can rinse it in a colander under cold water. But if you need to do that, you should be having Cole Slaw instead.

When you are heating Sauerkraut, a bit of chopped apple in it can be nice.


Fat free and low carbohydrate. Good source of vitamin C, iron, calcium, potassium phosphorus, thiamin, riboflavin and niacin.

If you just drink the juice and don't eat the cabbage, you can reduce the calories by half. You can buy Sauerkraut juice on its own, and some people do like it. That being said, I don't think the orange juice people have to worry just yet.

Nutrition Facts
Per 1 cup
8 g


1 cup, drained = 8 oz = 225 g

Storage Hints

Store fresh Sauerkraut or Sauerkraut from opened jars and cans in refrigerator in sealed container for up to one week.

History Notes

The Chinese were pickling cabbage in wine as early as 200 BC. The Mongols under Genghis Khan used salt instead of wine, and brought this practice with them as they swept up against the edges of Europe.

It was known amongst Germans in America in 1776. It went on to become a Pennsylvania Dutch specialty (the Dutch meaning "Deutsch" meaning German).

Literature & Lore

Pronounced ZOW - er - krowt. In German, "sauer" means "sour"; "kraut" means "cabbage". In German, "s" at the front of a word is pronounced "z" if it's followed by a vowel, and "sh" if it's followed by a consonant.

Some Americans called Sauerkraut "Liberty Cabbage" during World War I (against Germany).

See also:


Aceto Dolce; Alum; Branston Pickle and Sardine Sandwiches Recipe; Branston Pickle; Bread and Butter Pickles; Caperberries; Capers; Chow-Chow; Cocktail Onions; Cornichons; Deep-Fried Pickles; Dill Pickles; Gardiniera; Godeulppagi Kimchi; Hot-Pickled Mustard Root; Japanese Pickles; Kimchi; Lime (Chemical); Pickle Chips; Pickle Juice; Pickled Eggs; Pickled Onions; Pickled Walnuts; Pickles; Pickling Cucumbers; Pickling Lime; Pickling; Preserved Lemons; Preserved Mustard Greens; Sauerkraut; Yum Yum Pickles

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Also called:

Choucroute (French); Chucrute (Portuguese)


Oulton, Randal. "Sauerkraut." CooksInfo.com. Published 22 September 2002; revised 18 February 2011. Web. Accessed 03/17/2018. <http://www.cooksinfo.com/sauerkraut>.

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