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Sourcraut & Pickles

Fermented vegetables are found around the world. It is said that people have been making pickles for 4000 years. I wonder how the first person stumbled upon the idea. Creating pickles requires just the right conditions and ingredients. My first attempt at making sourcraut was a disaster. The recipe called for adding salt as you pounded the chopped cabbage. In my culinary innocence, I thought salt preserves, so if a little works, a bit more is even better.  My pot of “sourcraut” ended up smelling like a swimming pool. Salt it turns out, is not what makes the pickle, anaerobic fermentation does. Too much salt kills the bacteria that produces the fermentation. It also turns out that these fermented foods are actually quite healthy for you.  Good cooks know that including an acidic food on our plates, helps not only with digestion but also boosts the flavours of the other foods on the menu. Pickled foods act as palate cleansers that make each mouthful of food taste fresh. They also can cut the heat of the spicy foods on our plate.