Krautsalat, Caraway Seeds and Germany on Spice & Recipe

A true European spice and an authentic European recipe.

Caraway seeds and krautsalat, German for cabbage salad otherwise known as coleslaw, are like twins. You can’t make or have krautsalat without the spice. Shaped like a crescent with five pale ridges and sweet and tangy taste, caraway seeds are used to flavor breads, salads, vegetables, ice creams, candies and more.

Grown in Central and Northern Europe, it is difficult to pinpoint its origin. Caraway is a staple of German cuisine, Dutch caraway is known for its quality, and Finland is the biggest exporter of the spice.

Kerstin Olson, originally from the Munich area in Germany, came to the United States to study food. After three decades in the States, Olson continues to do the same – study food as a food scientist, and showcase its preparation on “Spice and Recipe: The Origins of Flavor” with Mike DiGiacomo.

Supporting what is said about the all-European application of the caraway seeds, the krautsalat recipe that Olson is showcasing in this video is influenced by the Czech cuisine.

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Serving size: 4 – 5 people


  • 2/3 cup of water or broth
  • 1/4 cup apple vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1 pinch of white pepper
  • 1 small white cabbage, about 1 lb.
  • 2 slices of bacon, sliced and cooked (optional)
  • 2 tablespoon corn oil or grapeseed oil
  • 2 pinches of salt
  • finely chopped Italian (flat leaf) parsley

Prepare the brine by mixing water, vinegar, sugar, caraway seeds and white pepper. Bring it to a boil. As the brine cooks, quarter the cabbage and thinly slice it. Place cabbage in a bowl and pour the brine on top. Make sure the sugar has dissolved before pouring the mixture.

Let cabbage marinate for about 15 minutes. Add oil, bacon, parsley, additional caraway seeds, salt and white pepper to taste and mix well. Serve it with bread and sausage for a great mid-morning snack. ENJOY!

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April 18, 2021

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