The difference between cabbage and sauerkraut

Is there a difference between cabbage and sauerkraut or are they the same vegetable? The real answer to this question is that the question isn’t actually put exactly right. In some cases the terms cabbage and sauerkraut can refer to the same vegetable, but most of the time this is not the case. They usually indicate two different vegetables which some have common features.

The difference between cabbage and sauerkraut

Cabbage and sauerkraut are foods that are associated with winter meals, because it is mainly in this period of the year that they have always been grown and consumed. However, nowadays, unfortunately or fortunately, they are available to consumers all year round, at least on supermarket shelves. Both belong to the Cruciferae or Brassicaceae family, or that of the cabbage.

What is sauerkraut?

The difference between savoy cabbage and sauerkraut consists in the fact that the term sauerkraut (from the German Krautherbs) does not refer to a vegetable but to one food preparation. Sauerkraut is in fact the result of fermentation of cabbage, which substantially modifies its organoleptic characteristics. The cabbage (but you can also use savoy cabbage) is cut into thin slices and left to ferment for 2 months in salt with aromas such as cloves, Juniper berries o laurel. Like all fermented foods, sauerkraut turns out rich in vitamins, mineral salts, amino acids and live cultures which make it a natural probiotic, useful for the intestinal bacterial flora. They also keep viruses and bacteria typical of winter away. Once again we discover that nothing is random and that behind certain peasant customs there is always a more than valid reason!

Savoy cabbage, a precious ally for health and in the kitchen

Even cabbage, like all cabbages, is good for health due to its high content of vitamine C, A e K, useful for strengthening the immune system. Very rich in sulfur which gives it purifying properties and useful for intestinal transit thanks to the high fiber content, it has a curious feature. Unlike sauerkraut, which is only suitable for food consumption, cabbage can be applied topically as compress to relieve analgesic pain or inflammation. In the kitchen it can be eaten raw but it is mainly cooked to make stews, the famous Lombard typical dish cassoeula, the pizzoccheri from Valtellina or even baked or pan-fried rolls.

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