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Food Adventures

A few weeks ago I got invited to vist the 1st and 2nd graders at Muddy Brook Elementary in Great Barrington. They have a after school program called Food Adventures, spear-headed by the Nutrition Center. The plan was to talk about fermented foods, make sauerkraut and sample our sauerkraut. 

I talked a bit about Hosta Hill, who we are, what we make and how we make it. The kids we're inquisitive, commenting how they've seen our sauerkraut, they've eaten our kimchi and how its so smelly! After talking the kids got chopping (with the plastic lettuce knives of course). They all worked attentively, eager to process the cabbage in their own style. Once chopped we put everyones cabbage together into a big mixing bowl and they sprinkled it with salt. Then came the mixing, each kid got their hands in there mixing and mashing the cabbage until it was flimsy and wilted, just what we want!

While we let the cabbage sit to wilt a little longer we had a little sample of Hosta Hill Sauerkraut and Crimson Kraut. To my surprised most of the kids dove into their little bowls, gobbling it up. After a good cultured snack the kids took turns packing the sauerkraut into jars. The packed jars would stay in the classroom to ferment for a few weeks and then the kids would get to taste their communal sauerkraut. 

Working with them made me realize what a wonderful project this is for children! They can partake in the energizing act of chopping, salting and mixing the cabbage. Then they get to watch the fermenting contents transform right in front of their eyes! Bubbling away, with the colors of the vegetables melding right before you. its a safe, cheap and easy project. And also a fun way to eat your vegetables! 

Below is a kid friendly recipe for Sauerkraut.

  • 1 medium head of cabbage, red or green or both (it should be about 3 cups)
  • 1 Tablespoon of sea salt
  1. chop cabbage into strips
  2. Put in large bowl and sprinkle with the salt
  3. Mix the cabbage and salt, giving it a good massage
  4. Let the cabbage sit for 10-15 minutes. This allows more liquid to be drawn out from the cabbage
  5. Pack into wide mouth jars leaving about an inch for headspace.
  6. Cap tightly and store to ferment in a cool area in your kitchen.
  7. Keep an eye on your Kraut and taste after 1 week. If you want it more soured let it continue to ferment. If you like how it tastes pop it in the fridge. This will slow down the fermentation process.
  • Tips:
  • Use any mix of vegetables: carrots, radish, turnips! Endless possibilities.
  • Add spices or herbs. Don't over-do it! about 1-2 tsp/ 3 lb veg. Mix these in at the same time as the salt.
  • Keep an eye on the lid of your jar. You may see the lid bulging, thats perfectly normal and means the contents fermenting, sugars are being eaten, lactic-acid is forming in turn building pressure. I recommend you crack the lid open over the sink, since it might leak a little. After relieving some pressure, cap tightly and return to ferment. Do this again if needed.
  • See the previous blog post on ways for the whole family to enjoy fermented foods in every meal!!

Eat it on everything

Our Crimson Kraut, loud and proud on the salad bar at the Berkshire Co-op!

Our Crimson Kraut, loud and proud on the salad bar at the Berkshire Co-op!

We often get questions from customers wondering, how do I incorporate fermented foods into my daily meals?

We find the answer is simple. Try it on everything! We might be biased, but we think it really goes great with just about any meal.

Starting with breakfast, eat it with eggs in the morning or top onto savory oatmeal. For lunch, slip some GochuCurry Kraut into sandwiches, get creative; Kimchi and peanut butter sandwich? Yes really. Jazz up your salad with some Crimson Kraut. For dinner have it on the table as a condiment to any meal, meat, beans, grains, veggies, you name it! Want a fresh crunch? Go with Sauerkraut. Want a zing? Add some Kimchi. It's great for appetizers too, puree any variety of ferment for dipping or spreading, paired with cheese too! The possibilities are endless and we always love hearing what you put it on or in!

We've Got A New Website!

After weeks of work, we're pleased to announce the official launch of our shiny new Website.

You'll find us at the same URL, but now with a more comprehensive and functional design, including all new content and images of our products.

But, the best new element of all is our online store, which allows us to process direct orders for our products (sorry, no tempeh for now) for the first time.

So many of you have asked us how to get our products in other parts of the country beyond the Berkshires and now we'll be able to ship them right to your door!

It's such an exciting time at Hosta Hill with our recent Good Food Award win and our upcoming fifth anniversary later this year. Please check back often to catch up with all the latest news.

And, if you like our new site, please let us know in the comments.


We Won A 2016 Good Food Award

We’re proud to announce our Gochu Curry Kraut has been awarded a 2016 Good Food Award in the Pickles category.

Unfortunately we could not attend Friday night's amazing ceremony in San Francisco, featuring Carlo Petrini, Alice Waters and Nell Newman, but it's a great thrill to be recognized for the second consecutive year (our Kimchi won in the same category in 2015) by this wonderful organization.

We love that they say "we celebrate the kind of food we all want to eat: tasty, authentic and responsibly produced" because it acknowledges the complete method behind the meal.

To have our handmade ferments, featuring sustainably grown ingredients from right here in the Berkshires, reach a national audience and be mentioned in the same sentence as so many of these other great companies is an incredible honor.

Congratulations to all our fellow winners, particularly those here in the Berkshires, and thank you to the Good Food Retailers Collaborative, sponsoring organizations and judges.

And, thank you as always to all the farms, stores, restaurants, wellness centers, farmers markets and customers who have supported us.

We'll be celebrating our fifth anniversary later this year and this is great way to kick-off 2016!