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FotW's "Choucroute Day" - 29 September 2018 - Event Date: 29 September 2018

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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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    Posted: 22 August 2018 at 14:47
It recently came to my attention that there is going to be a "Choucroute Festival" in the Commune of Krautergersheim in Alsace, which is very near to my own ancestral Obersteinbach:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1791694354211144/





Krautergersheim, known as the "Choucroute Capital of the World," hosts the Choucroute Festival on the last Sunday of each September; indeed, the name Krautergersheim contains the word "kraut," which is the German word for "cabbage" and the source of Sauerkraut, which is the primary ingredient of the beloved and quintessential Alsatian dish, Choucroute, which in turn is the French word for Sauerkraut.

See how that all works out?

You can read more about Krautergersheim and its history here, if you'd like:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krautergersheim

Anyway, I thought it would be fun to have a "Choucroute Day" here on FotW, where interested members could research, prepare and present their own take on Choucroute. We have some good information here on the forum regaring choucroute, as well as a few recipes that can be found here:

http://foodsoftheworld.activeboards.net/alsatian-choucroute_topic2658.html

There are also many other sources of information and recipes in books, on the internet and elsewhere.

Perhaps you are thinking to yourself, This looks like it contains a lot of special components or ingredients that I have no access to! Well, my reply to that is, so what? You can make what you can with what you have; in fact, I did exactly that a few years ago, and the results were pretty darn good:

http://foodsoftheworld.activeboards.net/my-first-attempt-at-srkrt-elssser_topic2784.html

I am guessing that with a little time to plan and prepare, I can make an even better version for FotW's Choucroute Day, and I just might set out to do that, using my own, home-made sauerkraut that I've fermented myself:

http://foodsoftheworld.activeboards.net/making-sauerkraut-with-farmsteadys-kraut-kit_topic4797.html

I won't be able to get all of the specialty sausages and meats that are called for, but I'm betting I can do pretty well with what I have, and I am sure that you could do the same, if you are so inclined.

So, what do you say?

Ron
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 August 2018 at 16:08
To get everyone into the "Choucroute mindset," here's a neat little article, from Saveur's online Magazine:

Quote The Choucroute Route

A trip spent crisscrossing Alsace, reading literature to French coal miners and searching for an elusive plate of sauerkraut and sausage.

By Andrew Sean Greer
April 15, 2015

We were called les belles étrangers: the beautiful foreigners. Twelve American writers brought to France as part of a cultural exchange delivering foreign literature to rural communities. After we arrived in Paris, we were paired off and given our assignments: One set was sent to Corsica, another to Nice, another to Marseille. I was informed, however, that my partner had hurt his back. I would be traveling alone to…the director looked at his clipboard. “Mulhouse,” he said. Pronounced “mool-OOZE.” Somewhere in Alsace. I was introduced to my chaperone—a pretty English-free Algerian girl named Sylvie—and off we went to the German border, to Mulhouse, a wind-harried industrial town once known as the “Manchester of France.” There I was introduced to the Provincial Librarian, a weary, bald, monkish man. I say monkish because, though fluent in English, he seemed to have taken a vow of silence, and in this silence I was taken to dinner. Here, at last, I felt hope. One of my earliest childhood memories is of an Alsatian restaurant that served choucroute garnie, a rustic dish of sauerkraut, bacon, sausage, and potatoes. I ordered it in my halting French, but the Librarian, finally speaking, intervened. “No no,” he explained, “this is not the place for choucroute.” Obediently, I sat back. But I vowed I would have my choucroute.

I looked at Sylvie and the Librarian and asked: "Choucroute?" They shook their heads: not the place for choucroute.

Early the next morning, Sylvie appeared in my hotel lobby and led me to where the Librarian waited, in his car, a Twingo, to bring me to Pulversheim. The road was bumpy, the sky gray; we passed through small towns of half-timbered buildings and brick church towers. Then to the library, where a number of local coal miners had gathered to hear me read from my novel. Dinner was in the town's sole restaurant. I looked at Sylvie and the Librarian and asked: “Choucroute?” They shook their heads: not the place for choucroute. The next day, I was taken via a winding road to a mountaintop in the Vosges where a blanket of fog erased a famous view. We stood beside the Twingo in silence as the wind whipped around us. Then down the mountain to Murbach, where we ate in the library itself, crammed into a kids-section table while a librarian unwrapped the cellophane from my slice of pâté. No choucroute. The next day, through roads so narrow the Provincial Librarian had to fold in the side mirrors, we arrived in medieval-looking Ensisheim. In a church shop I discovered an embroidered recipe for choucroute, with impossible ingredients like “lard du Strasbourg,” but alas, it was not for sale. After I had read to the coal miners there, the Provincial Librarian drove through the twilit forest to a crumbling monastery, where he stared longingly as though he belonged there; Sylvie had me take pictures of her in a new hat.

Guebwiller was next, in the pouring rain, and the Provincial Librarian drove so slowly that one motorcyclist after another passed us on the road. The librarians there were proud to show me “American desserts” they had made from online recipes; these turned out to be cupcakes. The next day, we reached Aspach-le-Bas through dark early-morning roads where the only lights in the towns we passed through were from bakers. I arrived in time to have a lunch of aspic and red wine with the high school principal. No choucroute. I read to miners in Ottmarsheim, Ungersheim, Houssen, Carspach, and Munchhouse. But it seemed that no place—not even hopeful-sounding Munchhouse—was the place for choucroute. When my time was finally over, and we drove south through the Pfaffenheim Forest back to Mulhouse, to a quaint little restaurant, I was once again defeated. I asked at last: “All right, so where is the place for choucroute?” The Librarian exchanged a baffled glance with Sylvie before telling me, as if it were too obvious to be uttered: “But of course, you have it at home!” I could have hit him with a sausage.

Except that he was right; it is best at home, I later learned. There is nothing quite like having guests arrive to a house perfumed with Riesling-simmered pork or sitting down to enjoy the tang of good mustard with pork-soaked sauerkraut, smoky bacon, and wursts at your own table. And you may, as I do, make a wall of sausages between the meats and potatoes, re-creating on a plate that German border, that map of Alsace, where I read to coal miners on one choucrouteless trip to rural France.

https://www.saveur.com/choucroute-trip-alsace-france
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pitrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 August 2018 at 09:46
I'm in. Basically we're looking for a dish centered around sauerkraut right? I need to get started on making some sauerkraut then, as mine is gone already. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 August 2018 at 09:56
Definitely .. 

I shall do my Wild Trout Choucroute ..  It will be seasonal  with cooler temperatures.

I had once made home made sauerkraut and it came out really wonderful to my surprise ..  So shall get moving on it   !!!   


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 August 2018 at 09:56
Sauerkraut is certainly the base, Mike - from there, it is traditional to have various fresh and smoked pork products, or trout, depending on the version that is made; add a few aromatics and spices, some Riesling and that's the gist of it. The link that I posted above has several versions of the two main variations (trout or smoked pork), and I'll see if I can find another recipe or two, so that folks can have some ideas to play with.

A run to Leavenworth could be in order for some of those sausages etc!

Margi - do you know what species of trout are found in Alsace? We have several here...all are similar, of course.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pitrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 August 2018 at 09:58
Originally posted by TasunkaWitko TasunkaWitko wrote:


A run to Leavenworth could be in order here, for some of those sausages etc!
 


lol... I'm pretty sure Cured will ship things. Wink And I know for sure the Cheesemonger will, though that's less relevant to this dish.

I will definitely do some research into a Choucroute plate and see what I can come up with.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 August 2018 at 10:31
Originally posted by pitrow pitrow wrote:

lol... I'm pretty sure Cured will ship things. Wink


Oh, bloody hell - I just took a look at their website:

https://curedbyvisconti.com/

The Beautiful Mrs. Tas is going to shoot me....   
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pitrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 August 2018 at 10:38
She might just shoot me as well for mentioning it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 August 2018 at 10:41
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 August 2018 at 11:11
Just a quick note to those who are interested in this and want to make their own sauerkraut:

In reading around, looking at various recipes, one noted that if you're going to make your own sauerkraut, you want to get started 5 weeks in advance; I'm not sure if that time needs to be exact, but looking at the calendar, I'd say that the time is upon us....

With that in mind, I'll see if I can pick up a head of cabbage on the way home, tonight; or, I could wait until Saturday and get one at the Farmer's Market from some local Hutterites...now that would make some good sauerkraut!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gracoman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 August 2018 at 18:32
My 68 oz Fido jar sauerkraut just finished up this morning.  Been fermenting for 30+ days.


Edited this post to reflect the proper fermentation time.  30+ days, not the 20+ I originally posted.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 August 2018 at 05:48
Gracoman, 

Looks marvelous  !!! 

Doing mine tomorrow for my  Wild  Trout Choucroute !!!

See you on the 29th of  September .. 

Do take a look at Ron´s thread on numerous récipes and the history of this dish which is amazingly fascinating ..

Have a great summer  !! 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pitrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 August 2018 at 09:07
I need to hit the store this weekend and pickup some cabbage and other things to get my sauerkraut going so it's ready in time for this.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 August 2018 at 09:25
Looks very good, gMan! I looked though my own library and found a couple-three more recipes, which I will post as soon as I can on the recipe thread linked in the opening post. It is not entirely necessary, of course, since we have quite a few there and the gist of the concept is clear; however, my own feeling is that even too much information rarely hurts and usually helps.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 August 2018 at 08:59
I started my sauerkraut on Saturday morning:

http://foodsoftheworld.activeboards.net/making-sauerkraut-with-farmsteadys-kraut-kit_topic4797.html

In 5 weeks (29 September), I plan to use it for this event, assuming all goes well.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 September 2018 at 15:12
2 / 9:  


All is in their jars  !!  

How often should I  check these jars ?  

I cannot wait  !!



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 September 2018 at 09:42
Hi, Margi -

Based on my experience, if the jars are closed and refrigerated, the sauerkraut will last a very long time. I ate the last sauerkraut from my first batch almost a full year after I made it, and it tasted best of all; crisp with a very nice flavor.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 September 2018 at 15:31
Ron, 

Wow .. I recall preparing this  a few years ago with my Paraguyan neighbor Lily ..  

We all had a ball .. and it was amazing !! 

Ok .. all should go well  !!!!!!!   
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 September 2018 at 09:57
Well - tomorrow's the day...I've got a little last-minute shopping to do, and then we will give this a try.

My Choucroute will be something of a combination of most of the recipes I posted on the thread; truth be told, those recipes themselves are pretty much the same, except for minor variations, here and there.

My selection of sausages is not what I would like it to be, so I'll do my best in that regard; we'll see how it turns out!

Ron
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pitrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 September 2018 at 10:18
Well I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to get to mine this weekend or not, it's shaping up to be a busy weekend but I'll try.

And to top it off the smoked trout I was planning on using had to go in the trash. Someone left the freezer door open overnight and most of the food in there had to be trashed. Luckily some of the stuff that was in the back and packed in there tightly was still frozen and safe but I'd say we lost roughly half of what was in there, including the trout. I did find a package of smoked salmon way in the back that was ok so I'll use that instead but it's not quite the same.
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