Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Silver Floss sauerkraut and the Pennsylvania Casserole

Here's a staplebound recipe booklet, about 3½ inches wide, filled with recipes for Silver Floss sauerkraut.

Its 24 pages are filled with ideas for using "sour cabbage" in cocktails, appetizers, salads, sandwiches and meat dishes. (No dessert ideas, though.)

The booklet was published sometime in the early 1960s by the Empire State Pickling Company in Phelps, New York, which was then the producer of Silver Floss. The popular brand of sauerkraut has changed corporate hands a few times since 1965 and is now under the corporate umbrella of GLK Foods.

Before diving into the recipes, the booklet touts sauerkraut's "low-calorie nutrition," its Vitamin C, thiamine and riboflavin, and its flavor and versatility. It claims that Silver Floss replicates the old-fashioned flavor of sauerkraut:
"For generations sauerkraut has been a traditional addition to winter meals. Mother or Grandmother always 'put down' sauerkraut each Fall in an earthen crock."

(Sauerkraut is a cousin of kimchi, a Korean dish that was first described to me by one of my ESL students in South Carolina in the late 1990s.)

Moving past the sauerkraut balls, kraut tomato aspic and kraut stuffing, I thought the most appropriate recipe to share from the booklet would be the one called Pennsylvania Casserole. Here's the picture, followed by the recipe.

Pennsylvania Casserole
(Makes 4-6 servings)
  • 1 cup boiled or baked ham, cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 3 cups Silver Floss
  • 1½ tbsp. lemon juice
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • 2 medium apples, sliced

Mix ham, kraut, lemon juice and salt in lightly greased casserole. Place a layer of kraut mixture on the bottom, then a layer of sliced apples. Alternate layers until casserole is filled. Cover and bake in a 350° oven 30 minutes.

That sounds pretty good. I like sauerkraut, but I've been struggling to find things to eat it with since I transitioned to pescetarianism two years ago. Sauerkraut and pork are pretty much joined at the hip, taste-wise. I'm also still trying to find the perfect vegetarian Reuben.

I'll leave you with this final image from the Silver Floss booklet...

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