Unless you’re a super detail-oriented person, you may not have noticed that some restaurants have stopped garnishing customer meals with a sprig of parsley. I was in a restaurant recently for a Father’s Day celebration and the absence completely got by me.
When I was growing up, you found it on all of the lunch and dinner entrees at nice restaurants, department store dining rooms, and even greasy spoons. Without its appearance, the meal wasn’t complete and you could complain to your server and they would apologize profusely, while running to the kitchen for the little green plant. However, the parsley garnish became so ordinary and “not with it”, that today it’s considered a culinary cliché. Consequently, it is being replaced by fancier and more creative garnishes.
Sauerkraut is a lot like that parsley sprig. It’s been around for so long that people consider it commonplace. They don’t care when it’s not being featured or when it’s being featured poorly. That hasn’t gone unnoticed by the kraut fermentista. Unlike parsley, sauerkraut is experiencing a renaissance. Small batch producers of fermented food have elevated the lowly, maligned sour cabbage to new heights. They’re creating tasty products like Whisky & Dill Sauerkraut, Seaweed & Ginger Organic Kraut, and Apple & Cinnamon Sauerkraut.
These are exciting times for kraut lovers. Maybe people who love parsley will see a comeback for their favorite garden plant.