Jars of joy: This Irish barrel-fermented sauerkraut, made in west Cork, is delicious

Shelf Help: The Cultured Food Company finely shreds organic cabbage, mixes it with sea salt and filtered water, then traditionally ferments it

What is it? The Cultured Food Company raw sauerkraut (€3.99-€5, 400g).

What’s good about it? Apart from being packed with “beneficial bacteria that play a vital role in supporting gut health and immune function” (according to the label), it is also organic, unpasteurised and totally delicious. It is made in Skibbereen, in west Cork, by Hayley Milthorpe, who set up the company in 2014. The cabbage is finely shredded, mixed with sea salt and filtered water, then barrel-aged for several months and traditionally fermented.

There are a variety of flavours in the range, including an original sauerkraut, made with just cabbage and sea salt. I tried the carrot and fennel, which was delightfully zingy, while the fennel seeds, also good for digestion, added another flavour dimension. I also tried the Ruby Red, a mix of white and red cabbage and cumin, which was softer and less acidic.

How do I use it? The colleague who recommended it, says it’s really good in a sandwich instead of a pickle or gherkin. Also good with salads and Buddha bowls, as a burger or hot dog topping, and anywhere you want a bit of crunch and acidity. Shelf life is long, and it keeps for 14 days in the fridge once opened.


Where can I buy it? You’ll find it in lots of health food shops, generally priced at about €5, and it is available online from culturedfoodco.ie for €4.75. You can also pick up three varieties, including the ones I tried, in Lidl at the moment for €3.99 – a bargain, but stock up as it’s an “end of line” product there.

Anything else? The company also makes a range of sauerkraut juices (500ml, €3.50), kimchi (300g, €4.75), organic fermented beetroot (400g, €4.75) and beet kvass (500ml, €3.50). Unlike the sauerkraut, the kimchi is neither organic nor vegan as it contains fish sauce.

Send your Shelf Help product suggestions to marieclaire.digby@irishtimes.com