Estonian Style Sauerkraut with Pork and Barley. Mulgikapsad

Estonian Style Sauerkraut with Pork and Barley. Mulgikapsad

Estonian Style Sauerkraut with Pork and Barley is called ” Mulgikapsad”. Kapsad- means Cabbage and
Mulgi- Mulgimaa is area  in South-Estonia, with own culture, traditions, food and dialect.

This area and culture is perfect example about the globalisation already in 19th of century. During the American Civil War from 1861 to 1865 was lack of cotton and price was very high.
So, was demand for alternatives. South Estonia, Mulgimaa has perfect conditions for cultivation of linen. Bondage was in Estonia abolished 1816, but still farmers were very poor and land was owned by landlords. But because of America and demand for linen, farmers gets enough money to buy from landlords land and farms. And this area become rich and successful. This made others little bit jealous and they started to call people and this area Mulgimaa 🙂
In Latvia means word- Mulk- ” silly” and in Estonia it means “hole”- in meaning that the all richness went in to the one hole…:)

I am Mulk ( person, who is living and born in Mulgimaa), as well. My mothers ancestry have been lived in Mulgimaa more than 400 years. Maybe more, but we have first written documents from 1630 of year 🙂

Mulgikapsad can be served as a meal unto itself, usually with boiled potato and certainly with some fermented milk for drink. You may cook this as vegan, without meat.

Barley has been cultivated in Estonia longer than any other crops – for over 4,000 years. And pearl barley has been a staple food for Estonians through the ages; it has even been a food fit for celebrations. In the olden days, the tradition in Estonian villages was to make sauerkraut soup with pork and barley groats on Thursdays and Sundays.

Mulgikapsad takes and need lot of time. And Mulgikapsad are the best in the second day, as all Sauerkraut dishes.

Estonian Style Sauerkraut with Pork and Barley. Mulgikapsad

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Traditional Estonian food


  • 1 kg Sauerkraut, fermented cabbage, Hapukapsas
  • 0,5 glass of pearl barley
  • 0,5 kg fat pork
  • (chopped onion, if you like), salt, pepper, sugar, caraway seeds for seasoning


  1. Put half the quantity of sauerkraut on to bottom of thick-bottomed pot and add washed grits and meat.
  2. Put remaining sauerkraut on top.
  3. Add water to cover ingredients and salt
  4. Simmer on low heat. Check from time to time about water. Be sure that the bottom of the pot would have more than a few centimetres of water. If needed, add more water.
  5. 5.  When cabbage is soft, season and add some onion. Let set
  6. Serve with boiled potatoes
  7. Head isu!

Soundtrack Parvepoisid ” Mulgimaa”




3 comments on “Estonian Style Sauerkraut with Pork and Barley. Mulgikapsad”

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