Is Bubbie's Sauerkraut as good as home made for having good fermented qualities? - Mothering Forums

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Old 10-19-2009, 04:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Feeling like a flake because I'm forgetting the right words, but does Bubbie's sauerkraut have the same positive properties that home made fermented veggies would have?

(Why can't I remember what the heck those properties are . . . probiotics? enzymes? . . .)

I keep intending to ferment veggies, but I'm pregnant and having to keep my life simple right now and I haven't managed to find the time. Wondering if this is a worthwhile substitute?
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Old 10-19-2009, 06:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Peek-a-boo View Post
Feeling like a flake because I'm forgetting the right words, but does Bubbie's sauerkraut have the same positive properties that home made fermented veggies would have?

(Why can't I remember what the heck those properties are . . . probiotics? enzymes? . . .)

I keep intending to ferment veggies, but I'm pregnant and having to keep my life simple right now and I haven't managed to find the time. Wondering if this is a worthwhile substitute?
We emailed them about this one time I think years ago...we buy it here on the east coast, and I think at that time they said it was pasteurized (so likely no live cultures/probiotics). THey mentioned the containers would build up too much pressure from the fermentation or something like that? I think they did say (at that time anyway) that closer to where they make it people can buy the non-pasteurized kraut? because they didn't have to deal with shipping the live/bubbly stuff in that case?

Hopefully someone else will know more definitively. I'm going by what I remember from emailing them a few years back.

I do love their products. We really their pickles too. But I think the ones we get (kraut and pickles) don't have live cultures.
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Old 10-19-2009, 07:47 PM
 
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I just bought their relish today (since they were out of sauerkraut at WF) and it says "live cultures" on it so I'm assuming they didn't kill them off. At least I hope so because Bubbies sauerkraut tastes way better than mine.

Kathy, mother of 3, wife of 1. My new recipe blog: www.kathysrecipebox.wordpress.com (no longer searchable by allergen, but at least it doesn't have a virus!)
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Old 10-19-2009, 07:54 PM
 
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From a letter written by Bubbies to a customer:


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Bubbies Pure Kosher Dills are 100% raw. The same goes for our Pure Kosher Dill Relish and Pickled Green Tomatoes all of which share the same brine recipe. Our Pickled Herring in Wine and Prepared and Beet Horseradishes are raw but are pickled in vinegar. Our Sauerkraut is lacto-fermented like the dills and has been heated but not pasteurized.

We were forced to begin heating our jarred Sauerkraut to calm the cultures inside because they were causing the kraut to continue to ferment too much causing a buildup of gas that then causes the brine to leak all over distributor's and retailer's equipment and shelving.

When we heat our Sauerkraut, it is quickly raised to about 135-140 degrees and then allowed to cool as it is being jarred. The goal here is not to eliminate all the beneficial cultures, but rather to stifle them so they won't cause the jars to leak. When our Bread and Butter Chips are pasteurized the pickle chips are heated to about 175 degrees and the brine solution is just beginning to simmer (near 212). This process is designed at eliminating any potential cultures while the heating we do for our Sauerkraut is intended to calm them with the specific goal in mind not to eliminate them all.

We recently had all our naturally fermented products tested for their biological activity, including an additional sample of our sauerkraut, but a 100% raw variety we are only able to distribute in large buckets at this time. Bubbies Raw Sauerkraut showed a minimal increase in activity over the heated, jarred Sauerkraut. The jarred Sauerkraut definitely responded to their biological activity tests and showed that it has living beneficial bacteria within; and, since the product continues to change over time because of continued fermentation (even when refrigerated -- but most definitely if left at room temperature); those same enzymes produced in the original fermentation are still being produced.

On a slightly different note, the Sauerkrauts, raw and heated, tested a much distant third on the charts for biological activity than our second and first place winners: The Pure Kosher Dills and Pickled Green Tomatoes. The tomatoes actually tested the highest for biological activity and we believe that has to do with the fact that tomatoes have more residual sugars for these beneficial bacteria to live on after the fermentation process has essentially stopped.

It is important to note that our Sauerkraut is very crisp. It is crunchier and able to maintain its crunch for far longer than other brands of Sauerkraut I have tried. This is because there are still some vegetable fibers left intact in the cabbage which are the complex carbohydrates that break down into the simpler food that the lacto bacillus and bulgaricus bacteria feed on during the fermentation process.

Our Sauerkraut maintains its fibers better than others for several reasons -- one, because we pay close attention at when to pull and pack our Sauerkraut; and two, because of the method of preparation on the cabbages: they are shredded coarsely, and as a result the Kraut is not reduced to a near relish consistency at the end. This is one of the key reasons our Sauerkraut is so active and why we were forced to begin doing the heating process. The fermentation process must be carefully watched to ensure that the product is packed and cooled at a time prior to when the bacteria use up the bulk of the food supply -- i.e. when all the fibers in the kraut have been broken down and those simple carbohydrates have been consumed. If your fermentation process is too long, or at too hot of an ambient temperature, the process will happen faster and eventually you can over ferment your product. If this happens the bacteria and the enzymes have run out of viable food sources and begin to die off.

You can see that in creating the optimal Sauerkraut there is quite a bit more to it than just throwing it together waiting until it is not giving off anymore gas to throw it in the jar.
We love their pickles, but make our own kraut and other ferments. I've thrown out many batches of unsuccessful pickles that I've made at home so it's awesome to have real lacto-fermented pickles available to buy!

I honestly do think my own homemade ferments are stronger than any I've bought in the store though, but that's just my opinion. I also use very little salt which may be why, and I use the Body Ecology Diet method of culturing most veggies (w/out starter)--basically chop, make a brine, pack them down, and let them ferment--sometimes I add no salt at all...

Lauren, wife to my dear and mama to amazing River
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Old 10-19-2009, 09:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So I googled, hoping to find a site for them with info and found this:

http://www.fearandloathinginthekitch...ies-mouth.html

It sounds like the answer is that it has some live cultures, but probably less than home made.
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Old 10-19-2009, 09:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ooops, I see I just posted the same thing that you did!
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Old 10-21-2009, 11:21 AM
 
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Originally Posted by FairyRae View Post
We love their pickles, but make our own kraut and other ferments. I've thrown out many batches of unsuccessful pickles that I've made at home so it's awesome to have real lacto-fermented pickles available to buy!
The only thing that bothers me about Bubbies pickles is the term "spices" on the ingredients label. I'm so afraid of MSG (I get wicked headaches that last for days). I wish they'd just list which spices they use.

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Old 10-21-2009, 11:41 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Metasequoia View Post
The only thing that bothers me about Bubbies pickles is the term "spices" on the ingredients label. I'm so afraid of MSG (I get wicked headaches that last for days). I wish they'd just list which spices they use.
I think that's true for all companies, that they should list spices. My DS is intolerant to some spices, so I have to call the company every time.

I'm figuring that the Bubbies sauerkraut is better than MY homemade, because I eat more of it, so even if it's less beneficial than homemade, that since I'm eating more of it, it's better. Does that make sense?

Kathy, mother of 3, wife of 1. My new recipe blog: www.kathysrecipebox.wordpress.com (no longer searchable by allergen, but at least it doesn't have a virus!)
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Old 10-21-2009, 01:02 PM
 
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Yes--it does make sense to me!

I also think that, like so many other fermented goodies, it just gets more powerful w/ time. I bet if you wanted to make it stronger (probiotic wise) you could just leave it out on the counter for a day or two to increase the good buggies b/4 refrigerating it. If there are *some* live (good) buggies, they will multiply w/ time and warmth, ime!

Lauren, wife to my dear and mama to amazing River
I traditional foods
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Old 10-21-2009, 04:33 PM
 
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If you're worried about the contents of "spices", I would contact the company with your specific questions. All companies know that food-allergic customers will avoid their products if questions aren't answered, so they usually do answer these questions when asked.

By just listing "spices", they give themselves a little freedom to change the spices around without making new labels. Bubbie's doesn't *seem like* the kind of company to use MSG, nor do fermented veggies seem to be the kind of food that any company would add MSG to.

KJBrown- that logic makes perfect sense to me!

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19 (in Israel for another school year), Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 12(homeschooled)
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Old 10-21-2009, 04:55 PM
 
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I think it's good but saurkraut is THE easiest thing in the world to make, and dirt cheap, too!
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Old 10-21-2009, 05:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for all the ideas everybody. I went ahead and ordered some Bubbies pickles since it sounds like those are harder to do at home and have more microogranisms. Plus, I may have a better shot of getting the kids to eat those.

Going to try to get my act together and try home made sauerkraut.
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Old 10-21-2009, 09:59 PM
 
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I just got their relish. I usually make my own ferments but I don't have time to make relish and it's great that I can still get the benefits from something I can buy

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Old 10-21-2009, 10:06 PM
 
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Quote:
The only thing that bothers me about Bubbies pickles is the term "spices" on the ingredients label. I'm so afraid of MSG (I get wicked headaches that last for days). I wish they'd just list which spices they use.
My 10mo had a wicked reaction to them. She has several food issues, but I thought the ingredients looked benign enough so I was letting her suck on one. Big mistake! It took just a couple of minutes for her face to turn red and her eyes to get puffy. Too bad because she really like it.

ETA: I do my own kraut too, but I love their horseradish!
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Old 10-22-2009, 12:03 AM
 
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I was shocked to see Bubbies at our HFS. I plan to get a few different things next time I go and have money . I buy store saurkraut; it's local, good and cheap (isn't canned either). I'd like to get a big bucket of it but not sure where I'd store 30lbs of it, lol!
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Old 03-22-2010, 09:48 PM
 
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Bumping.

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Old 11-15-2011, 06:06 PM
 
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I sent a message to Bubbies through their website yesterday, asking what "spices" means in their pickle ingredients. I'm also very sensitive to MSG. I'm hoping to hear from them soon, and will post whatever I find here.

 

I just started an email list for those who want to avoid MSG at http://www.foodasgrown.com/avoidmsg/

 

Cheers,

 

Gary

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Old 11-15-2011, 10:58 PM
 
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I just did some searching and found some good info here http://www.cornallergyadvocate.com/what-i-am-eating/

 

Thank you very much for writing in to Bubbies.  We aim to make some of the finest all natural pickled products available on the market today.

All of our products are gluten free and are processed in a gluten-free environment.  Bubbies uses only whole and ground spices in our spice mixtures; there are no anti-caking agents, no corn-by products, no MSG, no binders and certainly no preservatives.

While most commercial pickles are packaged in vinegar, Bubbies employs the traditional, brining process that uses kosher salt and a proprietary blend of spices to turn the cucumbers into pickles.   Our Pure Kosher Dills, Dill Relish, Pickled Green Tomatoes and Sauerkraut are all naturally fermented and cured in salt water brine using a lacto-fermentation process. These products contain live cultures and the enzymes that form from a natural fermentation. Both the sauerkraut and the dill pickles are an exceptionally healthy choice for a pro-biotic packed food source.

We always love hearing from our customers and truly hope that our authentic, old-fashioned food products bring you sincere satisfaction.

Wishing you the very best in Food and Health!
Karon Jennings
Bubbies of San Francisco, Inc
Office: 209-951-6071

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