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What is sauerkraut?

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Quick Answer

Sauerkraut is pickled cabbage. It is made by shredding cabbage, mixing it with salt and sometimes spices, and then leaving it to ferment for four to six weeks.

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Sauerkraut is a German word that translates to "sour cabbage." Chinese laborers first invented sauerkraut over 2,000 years ago while building the Great Wall of China. It was developed by fermenting cabbage in rice wine.

During World War I, some American producers referred to sauerkraut as "Liberty cabbage" because they believed the public would reject a product with a German name. Sauerkraut is a good source of vitamin C, K and B, folate, magnesium, calcium and iron.

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