All our sauerkrauts are raw, meaning we don’t pasteurize or heat treat them. They are not “cooked,” so they maintain their naturally occurring probiotic “good bacteria.”
This is normal and the “puffing” you are seeing is the natural off-gassing of CO2. Our Kraut is naturally fermented and never pasteurized. It is always fermenting and giving off CO2 as a by-product. This is one of the many reasons we are now using pouches instead of glass jars. Our new pouches have a one-way vent in the back that allows for the natural release of this gas as it “puffs” making it the perfect home for live ferments.
Our krauts are not currently certified as organic. To review though, USDA Organic does not prohibit the use of pesticides. It allows low volume use of natural and some synthetic pesticides. Cabbage, which makes up the largest percentage of our sauerkrauts, is a member of the Environmental Working Groups list of Clean Fifteen – a list of fruits and vegetables least likely to hold pesticide residue.
Yes, keep refrigerated before and after opening. Our kraut is raw and unpasteurized, which means that if left unrefrigerated, it will keep fermenting.
Our pouches will have a best by date on the back. That being said, our kraut is made to last and will be fine in the fridge for months. Our natural fermentation process is the original way to preserve cabbage. If the top layer begins to dry out, just scrape it off. The kraut below will be perfectly delicious.
Cleveland Kraut can absolutely be eaten raw from the pouch. It’s not unusual to hear stories of our customers standing in front of their refrigerator, door open, eating forkfuls of our kraut right out of the pouch.
If heated, Cleveland Kraut will lose its probiotic value. This is the reason we sell it raw and refrigerated. FYI, Cleveland Kraut is still delicious cooked and still has many health properties, like being really high in vitamin C.
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