[souuhr-krout, sou-er-]
cabbage cut fine, salted, and allowed to ferment until sour.

1610–20; < German, equivalent to sauer sour + Kraut greens Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
sauerkraut (ˈsaʊəˌkraʊt)
finely shredded and pickled cabbage
[German, from sauersour + Kraut cabbage]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1617, from Ger. Sauerkraut, lit. "sour cabbage," from sauer "sour" + Kraut "vegetable, cabbage," from O.H.G. krut, from P.Gmc. *kruthan.
"They pickle it [cabbage] up in all high Germany, with salt and barberies, and so keepe it all the yeere, being commonly the first dish you have served in at table, which they call their sawerkrant." [James Hart, "Klinike, or the diet of the diseased," 1633]
In U.S. slang, fig. use for "a German" dates from 1858 (cf. kraut). "The effort to substitute liberty-cabbage for sauerkraut, made by professional patriots in 1918, was a complete failure." [Mencken]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica


fermented white cabbage, a vegetable preparation important in the cooking of central Europe. Sauerkraut is prepared by finely shredding white cabbage and layering the vegetable with salt in a large crock or wooden tub. The cabbage is covered with a weighted lid and allowed to ferment, preferably at below 60 F (15.5 C) for at least a month. Commercially made sauerkraut is canned or sold in bulk. Caraway seeds, peppercorns, and juniper berries are sometimes added to the cabbage during fermentation. Sauerkraut is often served with smoked meats and sausages in dishes such as choucroute garnie and Berner Platte

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Then they rated their liking for a variety of foods, from cake and ice cream to
  cranberries, sauerkraut and salsa.
Wine-glazed sausages with watercress potatoes and sauerkraut.
Sauerkraut and kimchi last longer than fresh cabbage.
The garlic sausage and turnip sauerkraut have flavor that doesn't bottom out
  for days.
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