By Holly Shaffer
Photograph by Diablo Imaging
During most commercial production, kraut is heated to such high temperatures that the bacterial cultures produced during fermentation are killed, rendering the kraut limp and devoid of beneficial enzymes. This is not how sauerkraut—German for sour cabbage—always was. Discover traditional kraut with these brands and classes.
Cultured: Organic sauerkraut that’s crunchy, tangy, and indeed vibrant comes in many surprising flavor combinations, some made from near-lost recipes. Available at the Berkeley farmers market, Whole Foods, online at Diamond Organics and Planet Organics, and at Cultured’s retail shop, 800 Bancroft Way, Ste. 105, Berkeley, (510) 540-5185.
Bubbies: Partially heated but not pasteurized, this kraut is thinly sliced, crisp, and nicely puckery—and at an equally nice price. Available at Whole Foods, Lunardi’s, and Harvest House in Concord, www.bubbies.com.
Rejuvenative Foods: Minced extra-tangy organic kraut from Santa Cruz truly tastes alive. Available at Whole Foods and Harvest House, (800) 805-7957, www.rejuvenative.com.
Three Stone Hearth: Volunteer Fridays to help make organic raw sauerkraut at this community-supported kitchen. 1 Bolivar Dr., Berkeley, (510) 981-1334, www.threestonehearth.com.
Marlese Ramirez-Carroll: Make kraut with this nutritionist. (510) 415-0805, email@example.com.