Talk:Sauerkraut

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News This article has been mentioned by a media organisation:
  • Hoffenberg, Noah (January 5, 2005). "Kraut: Ain't it cool?". North Adams Transcript.  ()

History[edit]

This section needs work. There seem to be contradictory claims: it suggests that the technique of making the food was brought from China in the middle ages, while also suggesting that Romans wrote about it circa 200 BC. And the two references claiming Genghis Khan brought it to Europe themselves cite no references and may be merely opinion or hearsay. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 156.34.35.198 (talk) 16:31, 21 December 2012 (UTC)

the history of this article is a Fraud... the 8 and 9 sources are Net and have no Source to them. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 65.129.158.233 (talk) 06:20, 17 February 2014 (UTC)

Sauerkraut in Dutch cuisine[edit]

I have some addition, maybe someone can ad. This article mentions that Sauerkraut is a traditional ingredient in the Dutch Cuisine. But not how it is eaten in the Netherlands. It is traditionally eaten by mashing it with potatoes, typically in the winter season. This is what's mentioned in the Dutch Cuisine Wiki:

"Zuurkoolstamppot, sauerkraut mashed with potatoes. Served with fried bacon or a sausage. Sometimes curry powder, raisins or slices of pineapple are used to give a stamppot an exotic touch."

This sausage is mostly a smoked sausage. These last exotic additions are not very tradional, but more contemporary variants.

In the current article, it does list this as the Dutch style of sauerkraut, but the picture stands right next to the 'Czech style' sauerkraut which is actually quite reminiscent of sauerkraut as it is often served on the Veluwe (not everywhere though). 83.83.1.229 (talk) 13:29, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

Is sauerkraut a smallpox remedy?[edit]

The comment from visit-Gettysburg.com about using sauerkraut to dramatically reduce smallpox deaths is spectacularly unscientific. Perhaps the death rate fell and perhaps they also ate sauerkraut, but there is no evidence whatsoever of cause and effect. I will delete the silly content. Also, cabbage is high in vitamin C, so it makes sense that it would reduce scurvy, which is an deficiency of vitamin C. I hope Captain Cook figured that out, and don't mind if we embellish his legend whether he used it or not. At least the statement has some scientific validity. stevewaller — Preceding unsigned comment added by Stevewaller (talkcontribs) 02:05, 14 May 2013 (UTC)

I've corrected the re-inserted reference to smallpox (to refer to "disease" instead). The sources repeating this claim all seem to crib from each other and they also all misspell John Jay Terrell's middle and last names, and so they do not appear to be reliable sources. I've replaced the source with this one. Doremo (talk) 19:05, 14 May 2013 (UTC)
I reworded this so that we don't sound like we are making an explicit claim that sauerkraut cures diseases. We are merely reporting that Terrill attributed his success to sauerkraut which is supported by the sources and does not need to pass WP:MEDRS. I also broke this discussion out into it's own paragraph. Peace, Dusty|💬|You can help! 19:36, 14 May 2013 (UTC)
Thank you. Doremo (talk) 19:55, 14 May 2013 (UTC)

Is sauerkraut healthy or healthful?[edit]

Admittedly, this is a totally immaterial issue, but I can't resist a quick response. One sentence said that "Raw sauerkraut is an extremely healthy food", which Mzajac changed to "healthful food", arguing that healthy food is "food that is not sick". I changed this back as I felt that "healthy food" was a perfectly common and correct thing to say, at least in contexts where it can't possibly be misunderstood as the opposite of "sick food". Mzajac changed it back again, saying that "'vunerable', and using 'loose' for 'lose'" were also common. What can I say? Maybe he is right and we really should distinguish more carefully between healthy and healthful. If so, Google provides some disillusioning results: 2,190,000 hits for "healthy food" [1] against 35,400 for "healthful food" [2] worldwide; 49,900 hits for "healthy food" [3] and 258 for "healthful food" [4] in the UK. Thus, the "healthy-healthful" ratio is 62:1 internationally, and a staggering 193:1 for the UK. Mzajac, I'm afraid you're fighting a loosing battle... ;-) --Thorsten1 18:01, 29 May 2005 (UTC)

Cheers, Thorsten. I probably say "healthy food" myself, all the time. There may be other examples where an incorrect usage will show up more often in colloquial speech or in Google search results. I bet more people write "is comprised of" when they mean "comprises". Nevertheless, healthy means "not sick", and it's incorrect to write it when you mean "promoting health", in formal writing. Michael Z. 2005-05-29 19:17 Z
Whatever. I think we are both misunderestimating the irrelevance of this little dispute, which is making me me dislike sauerkraut even more. ;) --Thorsten1 19:47, 29 May 2005 (UTC)
"which is making me dislike sauerkraut even more" ... I guess your dislike of sauerkraut causes you to quarrel about such a linguistic details. In order to be more happy person eat a lot's of this excellent food. I recommend especially "kapustnica", soup where you don't use any water, just sauerkraut juice, pure joy of fermentation ...
For reference,
  • Merriam-Webster Collegiate has definition 3 for healthy: conducive to health
  • Oxford American Dictionary has definition 2 for healthy: indicative of, conducive to, or promoting good health
  • Oxford English Dictionary has definition 2a for "healthy": Conducive to or promoting health; wholesome, salubrious; salutary.
  • American Heritage Dictionary has definition 2 for healthy: Conducive to good health; healthful. There is even a usage note on this very issue denouncing the demand for a nonexistent distinction:
Usage Note: The distinction in meaning between healthy (“possessing good health”) and healthful (“conducive to good health”) was ascribed to the two terms only as late as the 1880s. This distinction, though tenaciously supported by some critics, is belied by citational evidence—healthy has been used to mean “healthful” since the 16th century. Use of healthy in this sense is to be found in the works of many distinguished writers, with this example from John Locke being typical: “Gardening... and working in wood, are fit and healthy recreations for a man of study or business.” Therefore, both healthy and healthful are correct in these contexts: a healthy climate, a healthful climate; a healthful diet, a healthy diet.
In short, no major dictionary supports the notion that there is any reason, even in formal writing, to not say something like "healthy food". Nohat 16:30, 30 November 2005 (UTC)

Similar products in Manchuria[edit]

I added the following: The similar food is also seen in Manchuria, where it is called "suan cai" in Mandarin.--Manchurian Tiger 01:05, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

Lactic Acid Bacteria[edit]

G'day, I made some minor edits to reflect the fact that sauerkraut fermentation does not involve only Lactobacillus bacteria. In fact, L. spp are late to the party, once Leuconostoc mesenteroides and others have started the fermentation. The ferment is a progression of several species, with some flavour contributing species not getting into the act until about the 5th or 6th week (e.g. L. brevis). See added links for more information. Webaware 07:43, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Biogenic amines[edit]

G'day, I added a sentence on biogenic amines to the section on Health. This is important because more and more people are looking at both consuming more fermented foods and cutting out source of amines such as tyramine, not knowing that fermented foods are often a good source of biogenic amines. Webaware 08:12, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Sauerkraut and it's use against Scurvy?[edit]

I'm far from a food expert but is it worth making a mention of the use of Saurkraut by sailors in the fight against scurvy, I remember reading it played a considerable part in keeping sailors healthy (Captain Cook etc HM Bark Endeavour). I know it's mentioned under the Health section, but i wonder if it shouldn't be mentioned under 'Historical Significance', as it seems to have played it's own small part in the exploration of the Pacific.

--born against 08:27, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

Weird Al's Albuquerque[edit]

The main theme and running gag in "Weird Al" Yankovic's song Albuquerque, is the fact that he hates sauerkraut. Where should that be on this page, if it should be mentioned at all? Ka5hmir 08:18, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

I have added this to the trivia section. Salaxoraxas (talk) 08:31, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

Somehow, the trivia page was deleted. So i added it to the Cultral References section. nascarkylebuschj12 —Preceding unsigned comment added by Nascarkylebuschj12 (talkcontribs) 21:27, 27 June 2010 (UTC)

Culture Involved With Sauerkraut[edit]

I added a sentence about Pennsylvanian culture and sauerkraut and pork under Other varieties. 1312020Wikicop 22:01, 13 March 2007 (UTC) 07:17, 02 March 2007(UTC)



Translation[edit]

Sauerkraut means literally sour weed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 145.253.2.232 (talk) 06:50, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

No. I’m German, and it doesn’t! “Kraut” nowadays is the colloquial word for cabbage. It was once the normal word for it, but fell out of fashion because it sounded like poor people’s food. It is still used a lot in compound words like “Krautsalat” (cabbage salad). There is one other meaning: Herb. “Kräuter” means “herbs”. But it’s a thing of context. When ordering something in a diner you’d never mean herbs and always cabbage. Actually using the word “Kraut”, standing alone, to mean herbs, is archaic nowadays. It’s only rarely still used, when talking about Unkraut. That’s where it links to “weeds”. But factually, this is not related to the cabbage meaning. Sauerkraut literally and non-literally means sour cabbage. Simple as that. — 88.77.189.202 (talk) 06:58, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
Kraut never means whole cabbage, that would be Kohl. It refers to shredded cabbage only (and has other meanings), so the direct translation is at least unprecise. In my opinion the OP has a valid point and it should read roughly translated instead of directly.--93.203.36.190 (talk) 09:49, 2 June 2013 (UTC)

You are having wrong history of "Sauerkraut"[edit]

Sauerkraut was not made by British or German. No - it was been made by Polishmans at II century after than British. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 83.10.119.15 (talk) 19:16, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

And its not even from polishmans. Sauerkraut is from Asia, and came to europe with Dschingis Kahn. As far as i know he braught it from Korea, where its still the most consumed food, like Bread in Germany. --85.181.176.95 (talk) 08:45, 26 March 2008 (UTC)
Do you guys have any sources to back up your claims? WinterSpw (talk) 01:00, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
How the hell would someone else stating it make it more or less true?? Or are you falling for ad populum & co? Someone sounding more respected does not make him more right. And in fact, what gave you the idea, that because you (rightfully or wrongly from your p.o.v.) trusted someone else more, that the whole world would do so too? Get some perspective! — 88.77.189.202 (talk) 07:09, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
Uuum no. I’m German, and sauerkraut is not like bread in Germany! You rarely see or hear about anyone eating it, other than with special dishes like Eisbein. In bavaria it’s eaten a bit more, because they eat more of those dishes. I’d say, based on my life experience, taking a well-educatey estimation, it’s on average eaten once every 2-3 months. Older people and people from the countryside eat it more, city folks and young people not rarely never ate it in their life. Although in the perception of the nation, it’s someting you eat more often than those numbers, and a bit of a national pride. People wish they would eat it more often than they do. But the accompanying stuff on the plate is often too much work to make. So we order it in those rare cases, where we eat in a traditional rustic restaurant. A quick proof is how little of it the normal supermarkets have on their shelves, despite the long shelf life. It’s not bought much. — 88.77.189.202 (talk) 07:09, 15 September 2010 (UTC)

Reapeadetly warming up tastes better[edit]

Its well known, and practiced, in germany that Sauerkraut starts to taste better the next day. So if you heat it up... and then heat it up the next day, it tastes better. Also most people tend to cook it for several hours, because it looses its "sournes" (i don't really know the englisch word....). Its the most common way to eat it in Germany --85.181.176.95 (talk) 08:45, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

I’ve eaten sauerkraut since early childhood, and I’ve never ever seen or even heard of anyore cooking it for several hours. What would be the point anyway, since the sourness depends on the amount of water you add it the pot. Also you usually don’t cook sauerkraut. You eat it cold, or you gently heat it in a bit of water. And also, nowadays sauerkraut is not very sour anymore. I don’t know if it was more sour in the olden days, but I think like most ad populums, you pulled that “most people…” statement out of your ass. Just like with Italian tomato sauce, the “heat it up multiple times” is a myth. Scientifically, it only loses water and when standing long (good for tomato sauce, since it concentrates it), the flavors mix more (again good for tomato sauce with seasonin in it, but pointless for sauerkraut, since there is only sauerkraut taste). But all that happens faster when heated. So just cooking it once, but longer, results in the same thing. Although I think just adding less water suffices if you prefer it more dry. (I don’t.) — 88.77.189.202 (talk) 07:30, 15 September 2010 (UTC)

Preparation[edit]

In the "Preparation" section, the following sounds less like an encyclopedia entry and more like a primary school-level report: "You take the sauerkraut and cut it up. Next you put salt in the boiling water and watch it pickle. When you take it out season if desired." Hark80 (talk) 03:30, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

Also, it’s completely wrong. What that recipe would result in, is some kind of coleslaw! Here in Germany, and even in the countries around us, Sauerkraut is usually bought in a kind of plastic bag, maybe with an aluminium layer in it. You cut it open, and either eat it cold as it is, or put it in a pot with very little water so that it just does not burn, close the lid, and let it gently heat in the steam. Done. You can also add small cubes of fried bacon, for extra taste. And the reason it’s alwyas eaten with salty meat and something like mashed potatoes, is because those counteract the sourness, and the sourness makes the potatoes less dry and the meat less salty. (This balance is one of the secrets of great dishes.) — 88.77.189.202 (talk) 07:18, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
P.S.: To actually create sauerkraut, you of course have to actually ferment cabbage. :) — 88.77.189.202 (talk) 07:18, 15 September 2010 (UTC)

Health risks[edit]

I deleted that section. What was written there was pure speculation. Apart from that, almost everything poses a health-risk of some kind or another when you eat to much of it. As long as there is no study of any kind that links sauerkraut to any kind of desease, these speculations should not be in an encyclopedia. -- Robert W.

Top Secret movie[edit]

In the movie Top Secret!, Val Kilmer's character, Nick Rivers, says (in German): "Wir haben Pflichtmitten in der Heineplatz." The English subtitles give the translation as: "There is Sauerkraut in my Lederhosen. Since it's part of this article, wouldn't it be worth mentioning that the German sentence doesn't make any sense whatsoever? The English subtitles are not at all a translation of what Nick Rivers said. It's horrible grammar as well. Cattleyard (talk) 10:48, 6 September 2009 (UTC)

That was probably the joke. A frequent joke in comedies is to have the foreign language statement either not match the subtitle or sometimes be total nonsense (i.e. gibberish that sounds German rather than actual German words). TJ Spyke 19:54, 17 October 2009 (UTC)

Poor Outlining[edit]

Anyone ever remember learning that when doing outlines, that you're not supposed to have an "A" without having a "B"? Well, that forbidden practice is actually done three times in this article in the current version[5](though the last one is a bit more understandable than the others). I'm fixing it; anyone who doesn't like my headers can change them. Just don't split them. 74.178.230.17 (talk) 03:34, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

Odd Sentence[edit]

Sorry, I just swung by this page and read the sentence "Many people do not enjoy the flavor of sauerkraut, especially due to the mere thought of devouring fermented cabbage." I'm not entirely sure why, but I find this really rather clangs with me, seems rather colloquial and converational, as well as being biased and unverified. I think we could lose it with no great loss to the article What do others think? Carty239 (talk) 13:52, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

Removed Unreferenced Claim Regarding Vitamin C[edit]

I removed the following odd sentence as well: "It is now known that the preservation of sauerkraut in an anaerobic environment (in the brine) keeps the vitamin C in it from being oxidized." There is no source information to support this claim that does not take the quote directly from wikipedia. In addition, the claim itself makes no sense. It is not possible to make sauerkraut NOT in the brine. If the person who wrote this part is trying to say that the an anaerobic environment contributes to some kind of longevity of vitamin c in sauerkraut, then I'd ask that you name me one food that is a significant source of vitamin c that is not in an anaerobic environment. If you cut open an orange for example, exposing it to oxygen, the food will spoil far more quickly than the vitamins. 68.115.33.149 (talk) 05:44, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

Botulism[edit]

The information on botulism is contradictory, stating that sauerkraut is safe, and that it can contain botulism. Having the good fortune to live next door to a copyright library I was able to look up the handbook of fermented foods, and neither that not the online reference makes any mention of botulism that I can find. I've no idea of any trustworthy sources that make authoritative statements about this, so I haven't made any edits. Is anyone able to help? JamJar (talk) 17:36, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

I agree with JamJar on this. Cooking food renders the bacteria that produces it inert, but does not destroy the botulinum toxin if it is already present. The last few sentences in this section need clarification. It goes: “There are unpasteurized sauerkrauts on the market. There seems to be a safe duration of time to eat raw sauerkraut without a measurable concern for botulism. This may be due to the salt, bacterial fermentation and other factors contributing to a unfavorable environment for Clostridium botulinum to produce toxins. Raw sauerkraut can contain botulism.”

needs to be clarified. It is at best incorrect due to the lack of a definition of the word 'raw' in this context. 68.115.33.149 (talk) 06:15, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

The refs cited saying that raw kraut can contain botulism simply don't say anything of the sort. I would remove the statement, but can't find any authoritative source that makes a statement on the matter either way. JamJar (talk) 20:55, 13 February 2011 (UTC)

Yes, I agree. I have changed the article to reflect the fact that "properly cured" kraut is not a risk. Lactic acid fermentation produces a product that is too acid to grow the toxin that causes botulism. I've been making kraut for years. I usually hot water bath can it when it's done. If it were not soured (acidified), I would need to pressure can cabbage to raise the temp above the boiling point to can it safely. Gandydancer (talk) 21:57, 13 February 2011 (UTC)

How to make it[edit]

Thanks, Gandy! You have embolden me to add the section on how to make it at home. I, too, have been making it for years. Maybe we should say something about all the ways it can be used and served in dishes.19:32, 9 June 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Bdubay (talkcontribs)

I'm afraid that you have broken a Wikipedia rule "We are not a recipe book" - if you don't remove your recipe someone else will. Here is my recipe for 5 lbs. cabbage. As you can see, I use much less salt and let it sour for several weeks rather than a few days.
Sprinkle 3-1/2 tablespoons canning salt over cabbage; mix well.

Let stand at least 60 minutes to wilt slightly. Firmly pack into jars, leaving a 2-inch headspace. Fill with cold water, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Adjust lids, screwing bands tight. Place jars on jelly roll pan to catch brine that overflows during fermentation and curing. Keep cabbage covered with brine. If necessary, open jars and add more brine made by dissolving 1-1/2 tablespoons salt in 1 quart of water. Sauerkraut is cured and ready to can in 6 to 8 weeks. Gandydancer (talk) 20:32, 9 June 2011 (UTC)

Pickled Cabbage?[edit]

From the article, "It is therefore not to be confused with pickled cabbage or coleslaw, which receives its acidic taste from vinegar."

Yet, "pickled cabbage" redirects here? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 76.220.126.134 (talk) 16:28, 2 March 2012 (UTC)

Agreed. I'll change that. Donmike10 (talk) 16:21, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

Pickled cabbage should redirect here. I changed the article wording.Gandydancer (talk) 16:59, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

Clarification Needed[edit]

Regarding the sentence marked yesterday as clarification needed by AnomieBot, I'll take credit for writing that paragraph some time back. I came to this article some months ago trying to understand whether a sauerkraut could be used to inoculate fresh dough, quickly making a sourdough. I never did answer that question. What I did find is that the metabolic reclassifications that occurred during the 1990s and following decades have reclassified L. Plantarum as Type B heterofermentative, Hammes and Vogel in 1995, those years can be read about in the sourdough article. However, searching for information prior to 1994 results in the homofermentative classification for that organism. Thus, it seems the reference used in the paragraph is outdated in regards to current metabolic classification. I stopped at that point of discovery, not wishing to get into another Gordian-knot entanglement, as I was trying to answer a more casual question.

It is my understanding the following work sheds light on some of the metabolic classification changes that occurred, but I don't have access to it, being limited only to what is "open and free": Taxonomy of lactic acid bacteria Bruno Pot, W LUDWIG, Karel Kersters and KH SCHLEIFER (1994) Bacteriocins of Lactic acid Bacteria. Microbiology, Genetics and Applications (L. De Vuyst & EJ. Vandamme, eds.) Chapter 2, pp. 13-90 (1994) Blackie Academic & Professional, London.

The sentence marked by Anomiebot was, "Back-slopping bypasses the heterofermentative stage of bacterial population dynamics, a stage which is important to developing flavor. This is due primarily to the greater initial activity of species L. plantarum." I've changed it to, "The Netherlands sauerkraut industry found that inoculating a new batch of sauerkraut with an old batch resulted in an excessively sour product. This practice is known as "backslopping" or "inoculum enrichment," and when used, first stage and second stage population dynamics are bypassed, which are important to developing flavor."

The stated reference, Application of Biotechnology to Traditional Fermented Foods, goes into more detail, the page 15 has some sauerkraut information, as well at (pgs 43-45).

If this change doesn't clear up the confusion, feel free to re-place the jargon and clarification tags. Gzuufy (talk) 23:43, 21 November 2012 (UTC)

Reorganization of content[edit]

Oh, hi everybody. I was researching this topic and was appalled at the condition of the article. While filled with good information, it was poorly organized and showed signs (common here at WP) of being added to on an ad hoc basis by random editors without much thought being given to overall organization and presentation of the data. I created a new section on "Geographic distribution" (feel free to rename that one!) and move things into that section from the various random places that I found them in; I also expanded some of the sections a little bit and added refs where I could. All in all I think it's quite and improvement but I would definitely appreciate more eyeballs on the article. Thanks, Dusty|💬|You can help! 20:09, 15 April 2013 (UTC)