Sauerkraut is a traditional German food made from fermented finely cut green cabbage. The fermentation process, done with lactic acid bacteria, gives it the sour flavor. Juniper berries are also added to sauerkraut to increase the sugar content, helping with the fermentation. The term sauerkraut is German and translates to sour cabbage. Sauerkraut can be served as a topping, a stuffing or as a snack.
Sauerkraut is traditionally served in Germany as a topping for a bratwurst. The sour flavor couples nicely with the savory flavor of bratwurst. When serving bratwurst with sauerkraut, you may want to serve it on the side in case not everyone in your party likes sauerkraut. You could also serve bratwurst in a self-serve arrangement, displaying all of the ingredients and allowing your party to customize their meal.
It is not traditional, but using sauerkraut as a stuffing ingredient for a Thanksgiving turkey can give the dish a creative touch. For traditional stuffing recipes, add about 1 pound of sauerkraut. Rye bread and sauerkraut work well as base ingredients for a Thanksgiving stuffing.
Braised Side Dish
Braising is done in an oven, usually around 300 degrees Fahrenheit for an hour or more. Sauerkraut is often braised with bacon and other ingredients and used as a side dish for meat-based main courses. Before braising sauerkraut, it should be rinsed and drained a few times to remove some of the moisture content. This improves the effectiveness of the braising process.
Raw sauerkraut is simply sauerkraut that hasn't been pasteurized. Because it hasn't been pasteurized, the bacteria exists in higher quantities and is often used in alternative medicine to treat digestive issues. Raw sauerkraut makes an easy snack and can be eaten plain, served on crackers or on a tortilla. If you have a sensitive stomach, slowly incorporate raw sauerkraut into your diet to avoid any problems.