During the Viking Age the Baltic Sea was extensively travelled by populations centred in what is now Middle and Southern Sweden, Denmark, and the Western islands of the Baltic such as Gotland. These people travelled and traded widely forming alliances with both Slavic and Finnic peoples. There were intermarriages and cultural exchanges, including an influence on the religious practices of the Old Norse people. In what is now the coast of Poland, lived the Wends, an independent Slavic people who had much contact with the Norse people. Notable Norse settlements amongst the Wends included the band of mercenaries, know at the Jomsvikings. Some scholars believe the technology of lacto-fermenting cabbage may have come to Western and Northern Europe by way of the more Easterly people’s such as the Slavs. Thus, tough warriors such as the Jomsvikings might have enjoyed the invigourating crunch of sauerkraut during times of the year when vegetables were scarce.

This recipe has been served at the Hail and Horn Gathering húsel.

☼ 2 L white cabbage and curly kale (packed)
☼ 4.5 tsp gray salt
☼ 4 tsp juniper berry
☼ 4 tsp caraway seeds

Pickle Packer
German Style Fermentation Crock
Mason Jar Fermentation Kit

Layer the cabbages, salt, and herbs in a fermentation vessel. Compact the vegetable matter very well. Seal the fermentation vessel, as per use instructions. Store your vessel at room temperature.

After a day check on the fermentation vessel. If the vegetables have not expressed enough liquid to cover them, add enough salt and water to rise just above the cabbages, ensuring that a 3% brine solution is maintained. (In my case, I needed to add 500 ml of water and about 15 grams of salt.)

Periodically, check on the flavour of your sauerkraut. When it has reached the level of tartness you like, put it in the refridgerator.