I checked on the sauerkraut today as I have been doing over the past month. I noticed more scum than usual so I pulled it out of the closet and set out to skim off the scum. The bread container looked a little funkier than I liked, so I thought I'd wash it. Of course, that meant removing the cabbage from it. The removal process gave me an opportunity to smell the stuff. It smelled kinda like beer. Definitely could tell that it was fermenting. As I started filling up the new container, I started wondering how I'd know if my sauerkraut was done. Afterall, my recipe gave me a length of time, but it did not tell me what signs of doneness to look for. I checked my blog and saw that the cabbage went in one month ago tomorrow. That should be the right amount of time.
I decided to brave it and taste the kraut. I'm not used to eating veggies that have been sitting out for a month. They usually rot before that amount of time. If I don't survive the night, then let Joe know that the sauerkraut in the fridge should be thrown out! I don't know if I had ever eaten real sauerkraut before. It tasted different. Like I said above, the fermentation gives it some beer like flavors. It was crunchy but not like it was when fresh. I never made it to Penzeys, so the only spice I added was the caraway seeds. The commercial kraut I typically buy does not have any spices. However, commerical stuff has that vinegary flavor from the fast pickling methods they use. My kraut has no vinegar.
Now I want to try the kraut with food to see how Joe likes it. It would probably make an excellent Reuben, but for that I'd have to make my own corned beef. I'll probably just try it with a little smoked sausage. That would be good. Or on brats. I will be passing through Bucyrus on Thursday. If they're open at the time, I may stop in Carle's for bratwurst to take home. Or not.
I would like to try another batch. Maybe seedless. One with the juniper berries might be nice. But honestly, I don't think we eat that much sauerkraut in a year. Samantha would have to start eating it, but it's got too much salt for her to be eating now.