Kerrygold is to butter as ___ is to sauerkraut? Are there any Paleo-Friendly (or sort of friendly) sauerkraut brands? Or is it a make it yourself kind of deal? Feel free to include other fermented foods other than just sauerkraut.
From my experience, "Bubbi's" brand is pretty good for "living" pickled things, including sauerkraut and pickles. Only problem is that it's not cheap. You can find them pretty easily, Whole Foods, etc. Just look in the refrigerated section where all the deli pickles and stuff is.
Kerigold is to butter as homemade is to sauerkraut (assuming you have the time, patience, skill, and motivation). Personally I lack the time and the skill to make a good sauerkraut, but if you have these conditions, the money you will save alone will make it worthwhile instead of buying it from a store, regardless of the quality of the sauerkraut. This article on making sauerkraut at home is very comprehensive and easy to follow: http://www.wildfermentation.com/resources.php?page=sauerkraut
Here are some informative discussions about making sauerkraut at home and the benefits of homemade vs. store bought sauerkraut: http://paleohacks.com/questions/6220/does-anyone-here-make-sauerkraut http://paleohacks.com/questions/35862/is-store-bought-sauerkraut-alive
There's a company in Berkeley, CA that makes superb raw, organic sauerkraut. I don't know how far they ship, but the brand is "Cultured." It's in the Whole Foods down here in northern California. Delicious!
If you don't make your own (which is best, IMHO) and you live in the North East, check out Real Pickles (for more than just pickles!). Naturally fermented, raw, vinegar-free, 100% organic and SO GOOD. Also, they recently converted their facility to run exclusively on solar power, which is pretty neat.
If home fermentation isn't practical for you, and you don't have health stores nearby, at least buy the refrigerated sauerkraut. Schwartz, for example, says their sauerkraut is never cooked. I'm not near health stores so my option is Claussen. It doesn't really matter if it still has live cultures because I brew water kefir every day and make home-made full-fat yogurt.
If you're wondering, home fermentation isn't practical for me because I live in a 5th wheel RV and my resources are already strained by the kefir and yogurt.
I found the taste of Bubbie's kraut to be great! However, the consistency was not my favorite. The shreds are a bit thick and take a while to chew (I like to pulverize my bites before I swallow them!) Needless to say, my jaw was tired after a quarter cup of kraut! Soooo, I have been eating Bubbie's pure kosher dill relish instead. It is minced up nice and small. It works perfectly as a topping for burgers, in egg/tuna salad or with sweetpotato hashbrowns. In my opinion, the taste takes a day or two to get used to if you aren't a fan of tart. This relish has no sugar, so it can manufacture one heck of a sour face.
Here's the deal. Get a fresh cabbage head and slice it as thin as you can with a sharp filet knife. Slice in an onion the same way, and a sweet pepper too if you like. Douse with red wine vinegar and toss. Then top salt it and put it in the fridge. Not quite like kraut because it's not fermented, but better IMO. Every day it ages it tastes better.
I Like gold mine, and they have a raw garlic kraut that is tastier than saurkraut.
Well, while I like Kerrygold butter as much as the next person, I think it's a fall back option for those who don't have access to local grassfed butter. But I hear that the question is about the gold standard in fermented veggies...obviously, if you can make your own, that is always going to be the best...you utilize your own environment's bacteria, and adjust to your taste, plus you get to control the quality of the raw ingredients. If that is not an option for you, seek out local companies making high quality fermented products...if you live in Oregon, my friend's company Pickled Planet distributes from Ashland, maybe to some Northern California towns as well...Bubbies uses a low heat pasteurization process on some of their products, including sauerkraut, but I know their pickles are raw...for information about getting started with fermentation, refer to Sandor Katz of Wild Fermentation...
The best sauerkraut that I've ever had was from an Amish family, but since I bought it through another Amish family (farmer's market), and that family's sauerkraut was awful, I was too embarrassed to ask who the other family was. :-) I can't stand Bubbie's either, but I did find a local brand that wasn't too awful. It just hasn't aged enough. So what I do is I buy a big jar of it, open the cap for a few minutes, write the date on it, and stick it in the back of the fridge. After about 3 months, it's pretty good! The good side is that I've found sauerkraut that I like that I don't have to make myself. The bad side is that because of the long waiting period, I always have 2-3 jars at any given time taking up room in my fridge. But, I don't have room in my home to set up a proper kraut crock, and I dislike the small table top jar kraut.
In my opinion, the important thing is to get raw kraut. If it doesn't taste like pickles, take the lid off for a bit and then stick it in the back of your fridge and forget about it. :-) Good kraut tastes like pickles, IMO.
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