The Future is Fermented – Part 1: Introduction

I’m a huge fan of fermentation, though I’m not hesitant to call myself an amateur fermenter. The history, process, and health benefits of fermented foods/drinks are topics I will be delving into over the next few months on this platform. I’m also excited to share recipes, tips and tricks, and my experience experimenting with new forms of fermentation. Be sure to follow along because I’m sure this series will inspire, entertain, and open your mind to a whole new realm of food.

What does my journey with fermentation look like?

My journey into the world of fermentation began in 2018, when I started making my own sauerkraut. Being of partial German decent, this deliciously salty, sour, crunchy food filled my soul with joy. Knowing what I know about the benefits of probiotic rich, fermented foods in regards to gut health, which is related to mental health, this joy made a lot of sense. More on that relationship in a future blog post! It also makes sense that food made by hand, with love and patience, turns out to be really freaking good and very satisfying.

I initially started making single jars of cabbage, just to practice and get the hang of the process. I made the goal of learning how to make kombucha (essentially a fermented tea) in 2019. That was a fun and very rewarding adventure, as I used to spend probably too much money on store bought kombucha. I can’t remember the last time I bought kombucha! I almost always have some homemade booch in my kitchen to drink, which makes me feel proud of myself.

Then, in late 2019, my partner Simon gifted a beautiful crock to me. This excited me so much and made it easier to make large batches of fermented vegetables. I love being able to gift homemade creations to friends and family, especially something healthy and long lasting like sauerkraut. Thus far, I have played with cabbage, carrots, red onion, beets, cauliflower, radishes, cucumbers, and garlic… but there’s so much that I still want to ferment.

Simon and I preparing kraut, with Chip waiting for cabbage to fall into his mouth! You can see my beautiful handmade crock in the background, the large pot with the mushroom on it.

What fermented foods do I hope to learn about in the future?

Last year, I tried making sourdough bread. I would say it was somewhat successful, but it got a bit frustrating and confusing so I decided to take a break from that process. I would love to get into it again very soon, as I bought a kitchen scale which I believe will make the sourdough saga a lot easier. I would love to make tepache, a Mexican pineapple drink, as well as a garlic/ginger/honey paste. I also want to get really good at making pickled cukes, I haven’t yet tried them in my crock because I only really want to buy fresh, local cucumbers, which are in season in the summer. Unfortunately, since I have a sensitivity to soy, I won’t be trying to make miso, tempeh, or natto. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll even make my own alcoholic beverages!

What fermented foods are currently in my fridge/am I making?

In my fridge, there are some multi-colored carrots, beets, leftover juice from pickled cauliflower and garlic which I use in sauces, and many kombucha scobys (aka “Mothers”) ready to be given new homes (if you want one and are in the Providence area, message me!). I could also just compost them but I prefer to have some on hand in case I come across someone who is interested in learning to make their own booch.

Of course I have a gallon of kombucha in the works and on the counter is a crock full of napa cabbage, purple cabbage, and radishes (pictured below). This batch is being made with my partner’s dad in mind. He has been requesting some fermented veg, so fermented veg he shall get!

Get excited folks, because the future is fermented… and it’s going to make us all a little bit happier and healthier.

Kayla,

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