Švábovská Fermented cabbage

Ark of taste
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Kvasená Švábovská kapusta

Pourovo is an original, profitable, tasty variety of white cabbage, grown in the Švábovská region, and very good for fermentation and preservation. The heads are large, spherical, dark green and with a hint of purple outside leaves. The leaves are firm. This tasty cabbage is perfect for fermentation because it has enough sugar and a brittle structure. It has a slightly pungent taste and a crunchy consistency. The vegetation period is about 170 – 190 days. 800 – 1000 kg can be harvested from 100 square meters of garden.

According to the regional tradition, after harvesting, the cabbage is finely grated and then loaded into clay or ceramic barrels. Then, salt, cumin and one onion per each cabbage are added. Then, this mix of salty and spicy cabbage is pressed into the barrel by stepping on it. The barrel is then loaded with stone and left for 4-5 weeks to allow the fermentation.

The cabbage crop probably came to the Spiš region during the Tatar invasions in the 12th century from Asia and Russia. In the 13th century, this area was inhabited by Saxons and Germans; and the production of fermented sauerkraut is likely to date back to this time.

These days, cabbage growing in Slovakia is experiencing an enormous pressure due to the large growers from southern countries, where they grow cabbage in monoculture, with more industrial methods, using chemical sprays. Subsequently, large-scale production of fermented cabbage takes place with the help of chemical stabilizers. In the past, each family used to grow, raise and ferment their own cabbages.

It is crucial to try and restore the traditional cultivation methods for this original variety of cabbage in a more nature-friendly way. This way involves the grating and loading into traditional barrels as our ancestors used to do because all this procedure belongs to the traditional gastronomy of this region and is part of the cultural gastronomic heritage.

Švábovská fermented Pourovo cabbage is consumed mainly in winter, when there are not enough fresh vegetables or fruits, as an important supplement of vitamin C and probiotic microorganisms. Cabbage soup "Kapustnica" is a traditional Christmas Eve meal in many families. Cabbage is cooked with root vegetables, dried wild mushrooms, dried plum and smoked sausage, smoked bacon, smoked pork, or mutton.

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StateSlovak Republic

Prešovský kraj

Production area:Švábovce District, Poprad

Other info


Vegetables and vegetable preserves

Nominated by:Ladislav Raček