My kraut exploded! Is it OK?
Exploding kraut might be a little disconcerting- but no worries, it’s probably fine. Your kraut is more active than it normally is which means the bacteria that make it so healthy are respirating and off gassing at a faster pace than it usually does in refrigeration. The good news is that all this really means is that your kraut kept fermenting and is more probiotic- the bad news is that it may be a little more sour than you prefer. Kraut is super acidic so it is highly unlikely it could harm you. Taste the kraut and if it tastes in the least bit strange return it to the store or to our farmers market booth for an exchange or refund. We want you to be 100% satisfied with your kraut.
What’s the difference between sauerkraut and pickles?
Most pickles today are made using a vinegar brine. Immersing vegetables in a mix of vinegar, salt, spices, and sometimes sugar preserves them and gives them a characteristic sour taste. Our sauerkrauts, however, use no vinegar. Instead, we mix raw vegetables with salt and allow them to ferment naturally. The action of naturally occurring beneficial bacteria boosts vitamin content, promotes digestibility, and bestows a mild tanginess to the finished product, while salt pulls out excess water, tenderizes the texture, and helps in the preservation process. Raw, fermented sauerkraut is long-lasting, rich in vitamins and beneficial pro-biotics, and offers many health benefits.
What’s lacto-fermentation? If I’m lactose-intolerant, can I still eat your kraut?
Our sauerkrauts are created using lacto-fermentation, a traditional method of preservation that has been used for thousands of years throughout the world. When vegetables are packed in airtight vessels with salt, vegetable sugars are converted into lactic acid and carbon dioxide, which preserves food. Considered a health food by many nutrition experts, this technique also adds beneficial enzymes that aid in digestion and enhance vitamin absorption. An effervescent, sour flavor develops during the process.
Lactose refers to the milk sugars that many people find difficult to digest. Lactic acid is one of nature’s best preservatives and improves digestion. Enjoy!
Okay, I’m out of hot dogs. What else can I use my Farmhouse Culture sauerkraut for?
You can use Farmhouse Culture sauerkrauts like you would any other tangy condiment or relish. Try it on a sandwich with cheese & avocado or with meats like turkey, ham, or roast beef, or on a bagel with cream cheese, smoked salmon, and tomato. Toss it into a green salad to add tanginess and crunch, or add a dollop to your tuna salad. It’s also a great accompaniment to pork chops or grilled tofu or seitan. Check out our Recipes page for suggestions on cooking with kraut.
Are all your flavors available year-round?
Not always. One of the ways we keep our krauts affordable is by buying local produce at the height of its growing season, when it’s abundant and reasonably priced. Once ingredients go into our krauts, they last a long time. However, we make each kraut in small batches, so if we sell out of, say, apple kraut in late spring, when most of the fall and winter-harvest apples are gone, we’ll wait until the fall to make our next round. In the meantime, though, we’ll be making something else equally delicious in its place.