The Best Grilled Cheese Condiment Ever

currykrautA few weeks back I wrote about a bacon, apple and jam sandwich–inspired by Virginia pork purveyor Bev Eggleston and a pig roast at Il Buco, natch–that blew my mind. (If I recall, that blog post was called Apple + Pig Fat=Heaven.) Now that it’s fully soup season, a new sandwich passion has moved into pole position: Grilled cheese and curry sauerkraut courtesy the brothers behind McClure’s Pickles. Edible Brooklyn wrote about an obsession for their relish not too many issues back, and their brand new kraut is just as addictive.

For starters this is real sauerkraut, meaning it’s lacto-fermented and tingly to the tongue and slightly stinky and full of good bacteria for your biodigestive system. It’s also kicked with curry and chile–both nicely spiced and nicely spicy. Delicious, in other words. I first tasted it when Bob (as in McClure, as in brother of Joe) was serving samples from a plastic barrel at the opening of the new Brooklyn Kitchen superstore in Greenpoint.

I said I thought it rocked, he said it was good on grilled cheese, and when I gave him the puppy dog eyes, he kindly gave me a bit in a plastic tub to tote home to make my own. (Meaning the entire dining room at Greenpoint’s new Manhattan Inn was taking in the scent while I was eating dinner later on that night.)

They thank you, Bob, as do I, since this kraut was totally mindblowing with 1) an Alpine style cheese like Tarentaise, a swissy kind of thing from Thistle Hill Farm in Vermont that I got at the brand new cheese stall called Lucy’s Whey in Chelsea Market, but hey, Gruyere or Swiss will do too, on 2) rye or pumpernickel with 3) a little curry-spiked Scandinavian mustard. Fry all that in  4) some salted butter in a pre-heated cast iron pan, preferably with another, also pre-heated, on top to press it all down to gooey goodness. Right now the McClure’s are beginning to roll out the kraut citywide, selling it at the Brooklyn Flea stand for $6 on weekends and Bedford Cheese in Williamsburg. But expect it to arrive wherever fine McClure’s Pickles are sold soon. In the meantime, prepare the griddle.

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Rachel Wharton is the former deputy editor of Edible Brooklyn and Edible Manhattan. She won a 2010 James Beard food journalism award, holds a master’s degree in Food Studies from New York University, and has more than 15 years of experience as a writer, editor and reporter. A North Carolina native and a former features food reporter for the New York Daily News, she edited the Edible Brooklyn cookbook and was the co-author of both Handheld Pies and DiPalo's Guide to the Essential Foods of Italy. Her work also appears in publications such as The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and Saveur.