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Sauerkraut Gets Sweetened by the South

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THIS TRADITIONAL GERMAN CONDIMENT HAS BEEN TRANSFORMED

  Blog Post June 2013
Photo courtesy of April McGreger

In Watauga Country, North Carolina, something strange is happening to sauerkraut. There, the traditional German dish is melding with Southern culture. Instead of bay leaf or juniper berries—the European seasonings—the North Carolinians mix in corn and snap beans. They call the new dish “Pickle Beans & Corn.”

According to April McGreger, founder of Farmer’s Daughter Pickles & Preserves, this type of cultural fusion has been happening since European immigrants first brought sauerkraut to the South in the 1700s. Because kraut was easy to make, and full of fiber, vitamin C, and probiotics, rural farmers adopted it as part of their winter diets. It was only a matter of time before families started creating their own variations on the traditional recipe.

“Since Southerners love sweet things, many modern recipes for kraut are made with vinegar and sugar,” says April.

She gives her own favorite recipe, and thank goodness… something this good shouldn’t be kept a secret!

Roasted Pork & Sauerkraut
from April McGreger of Farmer’s Daughter Pickles & Preserves, Watauga County, NC