I had to pay up. I lost the bet when Jeff and I played “What’s Normal?”; instead of money, we placed a food wager: if he lost he had to eat liverwurst, and if I lost I had to eat sauerkraut. I had always hated the smell of sauerkraut to the point that I had never actually eaten it and couldn’t understand how anyone could.

I looked it up, and the word sauerkraut translated from German is “sour cabbage”; how is that appetizing? Why would anyone think that the taste of cabbage would be improved by letting it ferment? But regardless of my feelings toward sauerkraut, I still had to eat it. It wasn’t easy, even though it was served on top of a hot dog, but I managed to not only eat a bite, but, surprisingly, keep it down.

My review of sauerkraut: it tastes as awful as it smells. Even though I didn’t eat much of it, the malodorous stench stayed in my nostrils for the next hour and I was picking the slimy tendrils out of my teeth for about as long. I can now say that I have eaten sauerkraut and I can also say (emphatically) that I will never do it again.

Sam Doyle photo

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