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Mar 15, 2006 04:19 PM

A rant about a jar of sauerkraut I bought yesterday

  • h

Yesterday I bought a jar of Ba-Tampte sauerkraut. I took one taste and spit it out.

Some idiot had put sugar and vinegar in it! So much so, in fact, that the label shows a significant number of carbs per serving.

What ever happened to good old-fashioned honest sauerkraut? Sauerkraut is fermented cabhbage--PERIOD. It has no vinegar, and certainly no sugar! The last time I tasted Ba-Tempte sauerkraut (probably 10 years ago) I don't recall that it contained sugar and vinegar.

I can't imagine what caused the company to start adding sugar and vinegar. Has the public taste become so badly corrupted that the public now expects to find sugar in *everything*????

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  1. I always read the lables on kraut packages, bags, jars, and cans. You would be amazed at how many companies add vinegar. I know of only one other sweet type and it is Stokley's Bavarian style. We had eaten it off and on and I never noticed how sweet it was until we started taking sugar out of our diet. I opnend a can months later and yuck. It was unbareably sweet.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Candy

      I never looked at the label, because why would I need to if I was buying a jar of (real) sauerkraut? It said "sauerkraut", everyone knows what's in the stuff and what's not, so no need to look at the label.

      Speaking of added sugar, and of rants...((grin))--just about all the shelved (i.e. non-refrigerated) salad dressings have sugar in them. !!!?????!!!!! Since when do dressings like herbed oil & vinegar or blue cheese have sugar in them? (I make my own blue cheese dressing by thinning out may and adding fresh blue cheese, perhaps add a tiny amt of vinegar, and it tastes far better than anything from supermarket.)

      1. re: Howard-2

        Once you start checking labels you'll be surprised at the amount of sugar in packaged foods such as canned soups. Even things that say "no sugar added" like some brands of yogurt may have the ubiquitous high-fructose corn syrup. And once you stop eating them, if you have to consume them again your tongue will curl.

        1. re: jillp

          Yeah, that lie you often see in print, "no sugar added", annoys me. OK, no sugar added, we'll use high-fructose corn syrup....

          1. re: jillp

            Also, as I know from experience, hard on us diabetics. I've been "reading the label" religously since they first started providing that information. Once, I got a drink out of the machine at work and realized half-way through it that it wasn't diet coke. The office manager had run out of space for real coke and just used the diet slot. Yuck. The price of truely sugar-free is vigilance.

          2. re: Howard-2

            That is not true. There are many pickled cabbage products out there full of vinegar. Read the lable.

            As for salad dressings, for the most part I don't buy them except for some Marie's Blue Cheese

            1. re: Howard-2

              Kreugermann's in Los Angeles and Meeter's in (somewhere) Wisconsin might have a preservative or two, but their pickle is purely salt and cabbage. I've found Meeter's in the Midwest, Nashville and LA, Kreugermann's only in LA. The Kroger stores were carrying an excellent brand of Polish kraut several years ago, but those chains are so damn fickle, if it wasn't a big hit they almost certainly dropped it.

              I'm not QUITE ready to start making my own, but I'm collecting recipes...

              1. re: Will Owen

                I'm currently fermenting a batch of my own. It appears to me that the key thing in doing it right is to limit the amount of air that gets to the fermenting cabbage. You do this by sealing the fermenting vessel--usually, with a bag (or double bag) of brine. And you need something to weight down the cabbage--I have a big rock that I found outside, washed a few times, boiled, etc.

          3. Trader Joe's sauerkraut (in the refrigerated section) has cabbage, water, distilled vinegar and salt. At least it's got no sugar!

            1. There was a sauerkraut thread here a while ago. Good kraut is out there but you may have to search it out. You can go to the Union Square Farmers Market on Wednesday or Friday and look for the Hawthorne Valley stand. They make a great, raw (uncooked) orgnic sauerkraut. It comes in several flavors. They also have Kimchi. Everything's made on the farm. You can also look in the natural food stores for Wellspring Farm of Vermont Fresh and Crunchy Sauerkraut or ask them to order it or you can order it direct from the farm (see URL). It's also raw and has to be kept refrigerated like the first kraut. Somebody also recommended the bulk sauerkraut available at Fairway and the various pickle stands around town. Anyhow, that's a start.


              1. If one goes to Bavaria, all "served" sauerkraut at restaurants is both sweet and sour in flavor, with tremendous depth of flavor. I assume base kraut is cooked and ingredients (sugar? honey?, vinegar?) added to get this effect. But the bottom line is...authentic sauerkraut is complex and not mouth- puckeringly "sour". The kraut that comes with a ballpark hotdog is not German tasting in any significant way.

                1. I threw out the last package of sauerkraut that I bought because it tasted like pure salt.