Sauerkraut Photo for Article (c) Foodsketz

Pick a cabbage. Any will do: white, red, cavolo nero, whatever you can find.

Shred it.

Massage salt into it. Keep going until enough liquid has come out of the cabbage to cover it.

Stuff the shredded cabbage and liquid into a sterilized jar.

Leave for two weeks, ‘burping’ daily.

What have you made?

The first answer is sauerkraut, the classic Central/Eastern European dish, often found as an accompaniment to German bratwurst, stuffed into Polish pierogi or balancing on top of an American hot dog. It is made by a process of lactic fermentation, which preserves the cabbage, and also fills it with beneficial bacteria, making it better for your gut than live yoghurt.

The second answer to ‘what has this recipe made?’ is a piece of art.

Alison Clare and Cat Smith – better known as Foodsketz – are an artist duo from Liverpool who run a sauerkraut making workshop as part of their artistic practice, which is built around communal making and consuming of food.

Foodsketz use food, rather than painting or sculpture, as “it’s something everyone has a relationship with, and can open up new conversations about art and other contemporary topics.” They see art as bringing people together, whether they regularly visit exhibitions or if they have no interest in art whatsoever. For Foodsketz, “the conversation people have is the art, and we just want to provide a space for that.”

On Friday 21st September, Foodsketz will be coming to Lancaster’s central market square to run their sauerkraut workshop as part of Lancaster’s Health Festival. This is run in collaboration with GRAFT, a local arts organisation. They will spend all day massaging salt into cabbages – as well as other shredded vegetables – with anyone who would like to join them. Participants will be welcome to take home a jar of their own brand of sauerkraut as both an original piece of art and a tasty treat (after two weeks’ fermentation, of course).

Like Foodsketz, GRAFT believes that art should be for everyone and runs pop-up exhibitions and events that promote exciting new work by emerging artists. GRAFT tries to break down the fustiness and pretentiousness that often put people off engaging with contemporary art. They launched in Lancaster earlier this year with Hard Graft, an exhibition in an empty shop in St. Nic’s Arcade. This workshop is the first of a series of events they will run in Lancaster in late 2018.”

Find out more about Foodsketz and GRAFT at:

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