After almost four months of waiting, the New Year’s Eve half-gallon sauerkraut batch results are in. Drumroll, please….
Kelly proclaims the sauerkraut, ‘perfect,’ ‘fabulous,’ and ‘just the way sauerkraut should be.’ There is none of that is-it-my-imagination-or-is-this-slightly-rotten taste we experienced when we broke into the smaller spicy sauerkraut batch just a few weeks into January. I’ve picked up the same questionable flavor in most of the homemade krauts I’ve tasted that are less aged. Despite our trepidations, we ate the spicy kraut for a few weeks until Kelly decided it didn’t agree with her guts, and I began to feel queasy after indulging in my morning spoonfuls.
With this four-months-aged kraut, I do detect what might be described as a subtle fish tank flavor, but Kelly hasn’t picked up on it, and it’s really just aquatic tasting rather than fermented/rotten tasting.
Mostly, though, it’s satisfyingly sour, with a good crunch. The kraut toward the top of the jar is slightly discolored, but we can’t tell a taste difference between the top kraut and the stuff lower in the jar.
Secretly, I had all but given up on this batch of sauerkraut, eyeing its slightly browned contents with distrust. It had lived on the kitchen counter since New Year’s, in plain sight, but we had avoided actually opening it for a taste when the three-month mark recommended in the recipe came and went. Opening the air lock lid tonight, we were braced for disappointment.
Having finally tasted a mature sauerkraut, we’re now convinced we should be more patient with all of our lacto-fermented veggies.
With success still fresh, and being my annoyingly overenthusiastic self, I immediately suggested harvesting a few of the cabbages currently in residence outside and starting a new batch, but Kelly insists this half-gallon jar will last forever.