Visiting a Choucrouterie in Alsace would be the logical thing to do, wouldn’t it? Choucroute garnie is generally the first dish we think of when speaking about Alsace culinary specialties (fortunately, it doesn’t only boil down to this!). And actually, choucroute garnie is only one of the dish that can be made from sauerkraut. Have I lost you? Let’s recap a bit of vocabulary before we begin: sauerkraut is the fermented cabbage, while choucroute garnie refers to the dish with meat that you are most probably thinking of. There are other uses for sauerkraut: in a sauerkraut with fish for example, but also in countless other recipes and, by using raw sauerkraut. In any case, sauerkraut is the iconic Alsatian food!
Visiting a choucrouterie in Alsace will let you immerse yourself into the history of the profession of choucroutier, as well as in the process of Alsace sauerkraut making, which is incidentally protected by a PGI. Its characteristic features? It’s long, thin and white (or of a very pale yellow).
The Maison de la Choucroute, founded by Choucrouterie Le Pic, welcomes visitors throughout the year to make them discover this typically Alsatian product. You’ll have to call beforehand to make a booking, as visits are guided.
The tour starts with a tasting of sauerkraut kougelhopf (it’s very good!), followed by the showing of a short movie. It’s quite dated, but it will allow you to understand the different stages of production, from the moment when cabbage is harvested, to the processing into sauerkraut and the recipes. Sauerkraut, made from lacto-fermentation, is very healthy. However, what we add to it in recipes might be less so!
You’ll also be able to have a look at the production plant through windows (for health reasons, it’s not possible to enter). Depending on the time of your visit, you might see part or the whole production process. If not, you’ll have to make do with the explanations from your guide. It’s a real company, so it’s normal that not everything is visible all the time! September to November is the time when more things happen, so don’t hesitate to come at this time if you can.
The visit of the choucrouterie is concluded by a tasting. On the menu, you’ll find raw sauerkraut, cooked sauerkraut and caramelized sauerkraut. Don’t forget to stop at the shop to stock up on sauerkraut and other Alsatian products…
- Understanding how sauerkraut is made
- Learning more about the PGI “Choucroute d’Alsace”
- Enjoying explanations from a guide and being able to ask questions
- The tasting :-P
I liked a little less
- Not being able to see the process as the factory wasn’t in production that day (even if it’s understandable!)
- The movie would need to be updated a bit.
My pictures of the visit of the Choucrouterie Le Pic
The tour costs 5€. It is free for children under 14 years old and it costs 3€ between 14 and 17 years old.
Opening days and times
From Monday to Friday, from 9am to 12pm and from 2pm to 4pm. The visit will last for about 2 hours.
The address is as follows: Lieu dit Hoeffen 67210 Meistratzheim. Follow the signposting in the village! It is located about:
- 28km from Strasbourg (about 25 minutes drive)
- 50 km from Colmar (about 45 minutes drive)
- 90 km from Mulhouse (about 1h05 drive)
By public transport
You can check your itinerary on Fluo.