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Favorite Condiment: Andre Laurent Sauerkraut

SauerkrautI once thought of sauerkraut as the least romantic of foods, something for hot dogs and old Polish grandmothers. I was happy to be proven wrong. So very wrong!

Sauerkraut is having a moment in the sun. It’s the condiment of now, popping up on menus galore in the trendiest spots. But nothing is new, and sauerkraut — cured shredded cabbage — is an ancient, wonderful food. Only the most special of sauerkrauts is worthy of this legacy, and Andre Laurent’s sauerkraut certainly fits that distinction. Since 1906, the Laurent family has been growing their own cabbages in Blignicourt, in the heart of France’s Champagne region, and lovingly aging, curing and seasoning the cabbage to reach great sauerkraut heights. Sauerkraut from Champagne is infinitely more refined, nuanced, sweet, and delicious than its American counterpart. This is the luxury vehicle of sauerkrauts.

This distinguished stuff is not just for wursts, sausages, and dogs. It’s good enough to stand on its own, as a punchy side dish. In Champagne, great sauerkraut is respected, lauded, and proudly served with poultry, seafood, beef, lamb, and pork. The possibilities are endless. It lends a little crunch, a little brightness, and a little tang to whatever you’re cooking for dinner. It also makes a great host or hostess gift, even for a New Year’s Eve party.

Andre Laurent makes several varieties, including one with onions, duck fat, wine and seaweed that pairs gorgeously with seafood, and another luxuriously rich version seasoned with goose fat and white raisins. You can find this sauerkraut in Fairway’s specialty departments. When you try it, all your frumpy associations will be replaced by those of ultimate sophistication and deliciousness.

TELL US: What do you serve Andre Laurent sauerkraut with?

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