Sandor Katz, the King of Fermentation, Is Leading a Kraut Mob at Grand Central Market

If you’ve ever wondered what 1,000 pounds of pickled cabbage looks like, here’s your chance

Grand Central Market is throwing a pickle party, and the undisputed world heavyweight champion of fermentating stuff is making 1,000 pounds of sauerkraut for the occasion. On the heels of last year’s Los Angeles Bread Festival, the Downtown food hub will be hosting a pop-up marketplace celebrating the art of pickling. The day will include pickle-centric specials from vendors, chef demos, and a “Kraut Mob” led by self-proclaimed “fermentation revivalist” and New York Times best seller, Sandor Katz.

Katz’s demo will be a crowd-sourced, all-day session that won’t quit until 1,000 pounds of sauerkraut have been made. Attendees will be encouraged to get into the mix, and maybe even stick their hands into some kraut. Think of all those burning fermentation questions you’ll be able to ask! Even better: Everyone who participates gets to take home a free jar of sauerkraut.

Katz will also give a free lecture on fermentation, which he calls an “important transformational process,” and its cultural resonance. Diagnosed with H.I.V. in the 1990s, Katz has credited fermented foods as an “important part of my healing” and has surmised that the food may help counter some of the side effects of the drugs he takes for his treatment. His mission is to turn everyday people onto experimenting with fermentation in their home kitchens while boosting the overall popularity of live-culture foods. He’ll also be signing copies of his book.

While Katz is the centerpiece, there’s also some other fun, pickle stuff scheduled. Chefs will be demonstrating their own pickling techniques and traditions. Asian and Latino pickling as well as pickling with foraged foods are just some of the topics that will be covered. “Leaf to Root” pickling, which utilizes produce “waste” and scraps, will also be discussed because, you know, maybe pickling can save the world.

Grand Central Market’s Pickle Party takes place Sunday, May 15 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at 317 S Broadway. The event is free to the public.