4/09/2013 01:02:00 PM

Artisans in Austin: Straight From the Vine Sauerkraut

Fermented foods have been getting a lot of attention lately. And not just from health nuts. Chefs are jumping on the trend too, as the Carillon’s Josh Watkins mentioned to us recently. Yes, there’s kimchi, but small-batch maker Straight From the Vine celebrates Texas’ German heritage with the other kind of pickled cabbage: sauerkraut.

Owner Beth Whitley uses all-organic ingredients and local whenever possible, and the final product is raw. There’s “no heat or pasteurization,” she says. “So you get the full probiotic benefit.” What’s she talking about? Fermented foods have been touted as helping digestion and supporting the immune system, and they're all the rage at the moment. Whitley’s pickled products helped cure a customer of her clostridium difficile, for example. She says, “I love that my product can help people heal their gut, which is where 70 percent of the immune system is.”

But beyond being good for the gut, it also tastes fabulous. Straight From the Vine currently produces five flavors: basic, traditional (i.e., Bavarian), lemon-garlic-dill, Texas hot, and Korean (yep, kimchi). Plus, she’s working on a yet-to-be-revealed sixth flavor.

Buy it at the Saturday SFC Farmers’ Market, Wheatsville Co-Op, Whole Foods and other places around town.

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