4 Oct 2014

The art of making sauerkraut

From This Way Up, 12:15 pm on 4 October 2014

Pip Martin and Emily Williams making sauerkraut
Pip Martin and Emily Williams making sauerkraut.

Sauerkraut has been around for thousands of years. The Chinese have been fermenting cabbage for at least 6000 years, Ancient Romans consumed it, and it was a staple for Captain Cook when he explored New Zealand.

Pip Martin and Emily Williams from Horowhenua are keen sauerkraut makers.

They pound cabbage in their farmhouse kitchen, preparing the vegetable for fermentation, while talking to Simon Morton. Added to the cabbage is ginger, garlic, a bay leaf, chilli and some carrot.

Emily and Pip say sauerkraut encourages good bacteria in the stomach and gut. Pip uses sauerkraut to help populate people's gut with healthy bacteria through her work as a natural therapist.

"If you've had to take antibiotics for some reason, something like having a good cultural yoguhurt or sauerkraut is a fantastic way of getting the pro-biotics back into your system again," she says.

Sauerkraut is fermented through an anaerobic process, meaning it develops without oxygen, encouraging the production of lactobacillus, which feeds off the natural sugars produced by the vegetables.

Recipe: Pip and Emily's Sauerkraut