It’s been a long time since I’ve gotten any Pseudo-Chef questions, probably because you’ve finally figured out that you’re all smarter than me. Ah, but there’s still one person out there in desperate need of my assistance:
What do you put in sauerkraut to make it not sour? --Anonymous Googler, USA
Bet you didn’t know that I can see the search parameters that land people on this site, and how very fascinated I am by this information. Don’t worry, it doesn’t tell me who you are, just what you searched on. So when I see that someone searched on my name, for example, I can’t help but wonder if it was that guy I was seeing in college that I ended up punching in the face. Yeah, you know who you are and you know you deserved it. Don’t Google me, again.
But back to your earnest question. I have a little experience with sauerkraut, as you’ve no doubt learned here and here. And there’s nothing like a little bit of beginner’s luck to make you feel like a pro.
First off, adding sugar to your sauerkraut is not recommended. It might ease up on the sour, but you will be left with something far worse than what you started with. If you want to return your sauerkraut to its original non-sour state, you will first need to build a time machine. Don’t worry, it’s easy. If it’s homemade sauerkraut you’re looking to desour, you’ll want to set the timer back about two months. When you get to the point in the past after you’ve shredded the cabbage but before you salt it and pack it into the crock, STOP. Do not salt it. Do not pack it into the crock. You will be left with cabbage only, which is what I think you’re really looking for. Sauerkraut, by its very definition, is sour. I know it sounds stupid, but it’s true!
If you’re talking about sauerkraut from the grocery store, you’ll want to send the time machine back to your last shopping trip and ask yourself why you’re buying sauerkraut in the first place. And doesn’t that pastrami look good, instead. Mmmmm, pastrami. It’s not sour at all. Not if you eat it within a week of purchase.
Then, march yourself over to the produce aisle and buy yourself some cabbage, carrots, and an onion. When you get home, shred the cabbage and the carrots, mince some onion, mix them all together along with lots of mayo, a dab of Dijon, a tablespoon or two of vinegar (warning: sour), salt and pepper, and you’ll have some nice coleslaw with which to build the best pastrami sandwich ever. Oh, you’ll also need some rye bread, honey mustard, and Swiss cheese. To construct this awesome sauerkraut-less sandwich, follow the instructions for a Reuben here, making the appropriate substitutions.
Hope this helps,