What Does Sauerkraut Taste Like?


Quick Answer: What Does Sauerkraut Taste Like? 

Sauerkraut has a simple salty and sour taste of cooked and shredded fermented cabbage. The taste varies according to the stage of fermentation, from plain salty to vinegary sour or even sweet and spicy in some cases. 

This vivid guide describes to you exactly what to expect when taking a serving of Sauerkraut.

Let’s start! 

What Is Sauerkraut? 

The term Sauerkraut means “sour greens” in German and is finely chopped fermented cabbage.

Sauerkraut has a slightly sour taste due to fermentation in brine water.

It is one of the most consumed National Dishes of Germany and is savored in Russia and other parts of Europe.

Here is a traditional yet fun way to make Sauerkraut at home!

What Does Sauerkraut Taste Like? 

The taste of Sauerkraut is finely chopped fermented cabbage, sour and somewhat salty. The longer the fermentation, the more intense flavor it develops. Sauerkraut is made by the process of pickling which allows the cooked cabbage to grow moist and more flavorful in a jar of salted water.

The fermentation process makes it a great source of healthy nutrients like vitamins C and K, calcium, magnesium, iron, copper and, is also very fibrous.

Certain other vegetables like carrots, apples, grapes, and cranberries are also added to ferment alongside the cabbage. 

Created in the form of a Chiese recipe originally, it was eventually named Sauerkraut by Germans and continues to have varieties of flavors around the planet.

What Is The Texture Of Sauerkraut? 

Sauerkraut is always soft but has a crunchy and firm texture. It usually softens with time while inside the brine water jar as it is chopped into extremely thin slices but does not become completely soft. 

This soft crunch and tangy flavor pairs perfectly with stews, and soups and is also served with sausages and smoked fish dishes.

However, if you notice a slimy texture and foul odor in your Sauerkraut, it is best to not consume it as unchecked prolonged fermentation may have spoiled it.

Here is all you need to know about Sauerkraut.

Why Does Sauerkraut Taste So Sour? 

The reason behind Sauerekraut’s sour taste is Lactic Acid, the main chemical agent that helps in the fermentation process and extracts the natural sugar from the cabbage and other included vegetables. 

If you are not a fan of sour Sauerekraut, it can easily be balanced out by some sweetener like applesauce, pears, apples, corn, apricots, or even raisins.

It can also be balanced by rinsing some of the sourness before savoring with your favorite dish. 

Can You Eat Sauerkraut Raw? 

Yes, Sauerkraut can certainly be eaten raw as a healthy and vitamin and mineral-rich food. It can also be used to cook to create other dishes but heat takes away its digestive enzymes.

Raw Sauerkraut could cause upset health for someone who is not used to the lactic acid present in the raw Sauerkraut.  

Does Sauerkraut Taste Good? 

Sauerkraur has a great slightly sour and acidic taste of cooked,  shredded, and fermented cabbage. One could also add more vegetables and fruits to this brine, along with cabbage. 

It has numerous health benefits like being rich in minerals and vitamins, magnesium, calcium and, more. It can be eaten raw and cold and also used as a condiment in soups, sandwiches, or with sausage and fish preparations.

Why Does Sauerkraut Taste So Acidic? 

The reason many find Sauerkraut quite acidic is due to the presence of lactobacillus, the chemical bacteria that ferments the shredded cabbage and dissolves all sugar found in its leaves. 

Adding some fat or cream to your prepared Sauerkraut could help get rid of some of the acidity in it.

Ingredients like a little olive oil or some avocado could reduce the acidic taste when eating raw sauerkraut.

What Does Sauerkraut Smell Like? 

Sauerkraut has a distinct strong odor of fermentation and vinegar. This is caused by the conversion of sulfur to hydrogen sulfide during the fermentation and is a sign of success in the process. 

However, one must be aware of particularly foul stink upon opening a prolonged fermented jar of Sauerkraut. 

Is Sauerkraut an Aquired Taste? 

Many consider Sauerkraur to be an acquired taste because of its typical odor and atypical taste. However, a whole lot of people who have grown up eating it daily say otherwise.  Its slightly salty, sour, briny, and funky taste is hard for some to get used to.

Many also claim to not prefer the smell of raw Sauerkraut and hence, eat it as a condiment or cook it and enjoy it in other ways.

Does Sauerkraut Taste Like Kimchi? 

Sauerkraut and Kimchi, even though are fermented dishes do not taste or look alike. Sauerkraut has a sour and acidic taste while Kimchi has a salty and spicier, almost umami flavor. 

Kimchi, on one hand, can be prepared by fermentation of certain other vegetables like radish and cucumber; Sauerkraut on the other hand can only be prepared with green cabbage, leaving no room for similarities in flavor.

Does Sauerkraut Taste Like Pickles? 

Sauerkraut and pickles do not seem to taste alike but it is debatable. Both Sauerkraur and pickles are fermented through acid and taste sour, salty, and, vinegary. 

Pickles are formed by saturating vegetables in an acidic brine, while fermentation happens through natural salts and bacterial reactions

Many think of Sauerkraut to be a pickle because of its process of fermentation but not all fermented goods are pickles.

In The End

I hope that this helped you learn about the exact taste of Sauerkraut. 

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About Marie Thomas

Marie is a food enthusiast who has always wanted to have her own food blog. She loves cooking and experimenting with new recipes, and she can't wait to share them with the world when she finally launches her blog! When Marie isn't in the kitchen cooking up something delicious or writing about her adventures at home or on vacation, you might find Marie taking care of her family and enjoying time with friends.