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Uncanny Sauerkraut?

Chef Bwana Jan 13, 2012 10:40 PM

My Sauerkraut experience is strictly of the canned variety. Short of attempting a DIY effort, anywhere in the Boston area have WILD Sauerkraut? How much of a revelation is it vs. the canned variety?

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    emannths RE: Chef Bwana Jan 14, 2012 08:46 AM

    It's not alive, but it isn't canned. Market Basket has Silver Floss sauerkraut in poly bags. Also in the fridge at MB are Ba-Tampte sauerkraut and new kraut. I think I've seen the refrigerated, jarred Nathan's brand kraut at Shaw's.

    I usually buy the Silver Floss stuff, so I can't give you a good comparison. It's definitely crisper and "fresher" tasting than anything canned, but it doesn't have that mouthpucking funkiness that you get from other naturally pickled cabbage products like kimchi. I've never made my own though, so don't consider me an expert.

    You might also try places like Karl's Sausage Kitchen and other German and central/eastern European food places.

    Karl's Sausage Kitchen
    142 Broadway, Saugus, MA 01906

    1 Reply
    1. re: emannths
      smtucker RE: emannths Jan 14, 2012 08:28 PM

      I also buy the Silver Floss. I have been adding some "natural" apple cider vinegar which has helped make it just a bit more puckering.

    2. Karl S RE: Chef Bwana Jan 14, 2012 09:02 AM

      It's hard to find living sauerkraut - the old-fashioned kind in a crock or barrel where the fermentation has not been stopped by preservatives (sodium benzoate being the most common). Good bagged stuff can be found a Karl's Sausage Kitchen, but it's not the living variety.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Karl S
        emannths RE: Karl S Jan 14, 2012 09:07 AM

        Yeah--anything alive will not be packaged in a closed and sealed container. At least not for long!

      2. Gio RE: Chef Bwana Jan 14, 2012 09:09 AM

        I buy lacto-fermented organic sauerkraut on-line from Thirty Acre Farm in Maine. It's packed in quart jars... Full of flavor, a more mild sauerkraut than others I've tasted, and stores well in the fridge. Frankly, it's quite delicious. I know this isn't in the Boston area but I thought you'd like to know there is another source for what you want. BTW: I live in Melrose and their shipping is speedy.

        From their web site:
        "Our cultured foods, including sauerkrauts, kim chi, and pickles, are raw, lacto-fermented, no vinegar or sugar added, 100% MOFGA Certified Organic. Ingredients are Maine grown whenever possible and mixed with Celtic sea salt which is rich in trace minerals. "


        2 Replies
        1. re: Gio
          emannths RE: Gio Jan 14, 2012 09:48 AM

          OT, but "rich in trace minerals" sounds a lot like "jumbo shrimp." ;-)

          1. re: emannths
            Gio RE: emannths Jan 15, 2012 05:30 AM

            Jumbo shrimp always gets a laugh around here. But in this case, "rich in trace minerals" only refers to unrefined sea salt...

        2. t
          Taralli RE: Chef Bwana Jan 14, 2012 09:43 AM

          Check out this place in South Boston near Andrew Station: http://www.balticeuropeandeli.com/

          1. c
            Chef Bwana RE: Chef Bwana Jan 14, 2012 11:57 AM

            I worked at Nathan's Famous for a couple of days back in the 70s, and there were bubbling clear trashbags full of sauerkraut everywhere.

            Think I'll give that Thirty Acre Farms a try, thanks!

            1. g
              gimlis1mum RE: Chef Bwana Jan 14, 2012 12:04 PM

              Market basket in Reading carried a brand called Lewis Mountain. It's not with the reat of the bagged krauts - it's in the back left, in the case with thepresliced salami. There's no preservatives listed on the label and the bag says that it may expand due to fermentation.

              It's pretty tasty stuff - the only other live kraut I've had is what I've made myself. Lewis mountain tastes a lot like it, which sort of made me feel better about my kraut - I wasn't really sure i'd been doing it right :-) The shreds are not super-fine, it's a coarser cut, which I like, and it has that snap of fresh kraut. I don't know if the other MB's carry it.

              5 Replies
              1. re: gimlis1mum
                Chef Bwana RE: gimlis1mum Jan 22, 2012 07:01 PM

                Thanks for the tip on this! Found a bag at MB Woburn, and man is it worlds better than canned silver floss! Bears a much closer resemblance to shredded cabbage in texture, and is both less acidic and salty. And the price is right too. Couldn't find it at MB Somerville or Burlington.

                1. re: Chef Bwana
                  Allstonian RE: Chef Bwana Jan 23, 2012 07:33 AM

                  Yikes. If your benchmark is canned Silver Floss, there are LOTS of better options for sauerkraut!

                  Ba-Tampte is okay, and most of the local supermarkets carry it, usually somewhere in the dairy section with other fresh pickles. Russo's carries an excellent fresh sauerkraut in the refrigerator section near the cheese & sandwich counter - I forget the brand, I believe it comes from NY. My personal favorite is a local brand, Rosoff's, which has gotten a bit hard to find but reliably shows up in 2-pound jars at BJ's.

                  1. re: Allstonian
                    Chef Bwana RE: Allstonian Jan 23, 2012 08:24 PM

                    I wouldn't say it's my benchmark, it's just what I put on my hotdogs before I found Lewis Moutain;) Isn't Ba-Tempte vinegar "fortified" ( ie, not living kraut)? I think I have seen Rosoff's as well, and aside from the too-large jar, it is also "dead" kraut? The Lewis Mountain Kraut is the ideal balance of price, unit size, and biological activity. Oh yeah, it tastes good too!

                    1. re: Chef Bwana
                      emannths RE: Chef Bwana Jan 23, 2012 08:36 PM

                      Have you tried the bagged, refrigerated Silver Floss stuff? I'm curious how it compares. I usually buy it at the Somerville MB, near the rest of the refrigerator pickles. I'd been killed with preservatives, but it doesn't have added vinegar or lactic acid.

                      1. re: emannths
                        Chef Bwana RE: emannths Jan 23, 2012 09:02 PM

                        Taste-wise it's not too far removed from the canned (if at all), but more convenient. I have to talk someone at Somerville MB into stocking the Lewis Mountain stuff. At under $2 for a1.1 lb bag, it seems to be the best deal for "live" kraut. Basically a courser and fresher cabbage texture, with a less acidic and salty flavor.

              2. d
                deglazer RE: Chef Bwana Jan 14, 2012 04:21 PM

                Real Pickles http://www.realpickles.com/. Fantastic lacto-fermented, real deal kraut and pickles. Organic, from Western Mass. Definitely available at Harvest and I believe at Whole Foods.

                7 Replies
                1. re: deglazer
                  gimlis1mum RE: deglazer Jan 14, 2012 04:37 PM

                  How is the price at Harvest? I saw it at Whole Foods, and it's on the add-on list for Boston Organics, but the price scared me off. Something like 8 bucks a jar.

                  1. re: gimlis1mum
                    deglazer RE: gimlis1mum Jan 14, 2012 05:46 PM

                    It is not cheap. $8/pint jar sounds about right. It definitely puts in in a luxury good category - it's a lot of money for a few handfuls of shredded cabbage. But to me it's worth it since I find it delicious and I use just a little bit at a time. I also like voting with my dollars for a good company like this making a traditional product in an artisanal manner. But yes, buy some organic local cabbage and some good sea salt and spend a fun hour in the kitchen making your own. In theory. Or just splurge.

                    1. re: deglazer
                      gimlis1mum RE: deglazer Jan 14, 2012 06:03 PM

                      I've gone the homemade route a few times...the final product is good but too bountiful for us. I end up giving a lot of it away (not a bad thing) since I don't have the fridge space for long-term storage. I suppose I could make smaller batches more often.

                      The Lewis Mountain stuff is not organic (just checked the label) but it is much cheaper, $1.99 for a 1.1 lb bag. I just googled them and they are a small Canadian company. So they're not local and not organic, but at least they're not ConAgra :-)

                      1. re: gimlis1mum
                        deglazer RE: gimlis1mum Jan 14, 2012 06:57 PM

                        I hear ya. Will def try Lewis Mountain.

                        1. re: gimlis1mum
                          deglazer RE: gimlis1mum Feb 15, 2012 06:34 PM

                          Reporting back on Lewis Mountain kraut: !00% agree, this is great stuff and at a third of the price of Real Pickles (but again, not organic, not from Mass.) I found it two weeks ago at the Chelsea MB in the exact location you describe - in the back left of the store with the presliced salami (and Bosnian meats!), not with the Silver Floss which is in the case with packaged hot dogs. It has been out of stock the last two weeks I've been, but a call to the Lewis Mountain revealed that a large shipment has been made, so it perhaps has simply not made it to the shelves yet. Thanks for the rec! Won't stop my love for Real Pickles, but it puts all supermarket kraut to shame for sure.

                      2. re: gimlis1mum
                        phatchris RE: gimlis1mum Feb 15, 2012 03:00 PM

                        I just picked up a jar for $6.50 at WF 15oz jar.

                      3. re: deglazer
                        BostonZest RE: deglazer Jan 23, 2012 07:20 AM

                        Real pickles kraut and Kimchi are both available as add-on items if you are a Boston Organics customer.



                      4. d
                        denish RE: Chef Bwana Jan 23, 2012 07:42 AM

                        Morse's Sauerkraut in North Waldoboro, ME has living kraut. I believe they do mail order and they sell in up to 10 pound containers.

                        From their website: "The unadulterated and non-pasteurized fresh 'kraut differs from all processed sauerkraut partly because the state of fermentation continues into the packaging of your individual order."

                        If you're in the area, head north on US1 to Moody's Diner and turn left on Rt 220 for seven seemingly endless miles.


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