Sauerkraut originated in China, where it is known as "kimchi", about 2,000 years ago, about the same time the Great Wall of China was being built. The laborers who built the Wall got their nourishment from rice and a type of cabbage pickled in wine. It wasnt until 1,000 years later that Genghis Khan plundered China and brought back the recipe for pickled cabbage, which his hordes then transported to Europe. The Germans (who gave it the name "sauerkraut") then learned to omit the wine in the recipe, replacing it with salt. Which gave us sauerkraut as we know it today. It wasnt long before sauerkraut became a staple for seafaring men. It kept well without refrigeration and the high levels of vitamin C found in sauerkraut helped keep the ships crew scurvy free. (The same was done with cucumbers). The famous ship captain, James Cook, once ordered 25,000 pounds of sauerkraut to outfit two ships.