Greater Sonoma is in a bit of a pickle … and that’s a good thing. It’s at the forefront of one of the hottest culinary trends, fermented foods, as witnessed by the growing prevalence of sauerkraut in home and restaurant kitchens, and the enthusiastic response to the Farm to Fermentation Festival, held each summer in Santa Rosa.
Forget the limp, pallid topping on ballpark franks. Unlike commercial sauerkraut, Sonoma craft kraut makers follow traditional fermentation methods, eschewing vinegar and relying on salt and naturally occurring yeasts to foster the growth of beneficial bacteria during pickling. The result: crunchy krauts and kimchees with layers of flavor and packed with healthful nutrients and probiotics.