Aug 20 2014
I am sort of new to fermenting foods but my husband has been making beer and sourdough bread for about 25 years. He even made tempeh, which is a tasty protein alternative made with fermented soy beans. I have been a long time fan of Sandor Katz and have explored his book ” Wild Fermentations” http://www.wildfermentation.com/. I dreamed of all the delicious foods that I could make and was aware of many of the benefits of live cultures (friendly bacteria) in fermented foods which helps boost immune systems but that was the extent of it. Last fall that changed, I entered the mysterious, bubbly world of fermentation. In Asheville, on Haywood Road, a new store called Villagers http://www.forvillagers.com/ opened and I had the pleasure to meet owner, Natalie Pollard. In her beautiful shop, Natalie has a variety of crocks and other helpful resources to help get someone started making fermented foods. She told me that fermentation is a gentle way to successfully begin preserving foods and gave me tips plus the confidence that I could give it a try. I went to the West Asheville Tailgate Market http://www.westashevilletailgatemarket.com/and purchased some cabbage, Brussel sprouts and carrots. I layered them in my newly purchased crock and added some salt to preserve it (Sandor has suggestions how to ferment without the usual amount of salt but the first time trying I wasn’t going to chance it). I left the crock on the counter and checked it out periodically and several weeks later, I had some beautiful, tasty sauerkraut which was delicious on open faced tempeh reubens. I soon became to new fermenting expert in the household. However, I have not tried to replicate it. The good news is someone else got inspired to give it a try, my husband went to the market and got a large number of local cucumbers (in addition to our garden cucumbers) and gave the crock a try! The pickles have been wonderful and this time I took a picture. The crock is now empty so I will have to now save face and make my “famous sauerkraut”. I guess there is room for a pickle maker and a sauerkraut maker.
Fermentation is a friendly way to get started in home food preservation because it does not need a lot of equipment and it is relatively easy. If you live in Asheville, stop by Villagers to pick up your crock and see Natalie! Check out the classes that she has coming up! Sandor makes a visit to Asheville periodically also and he has even taught a class at Villagers. Another book that he has written that you may want to explore is “The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved” http://www.wildfermentation.com/the-revolution-will-not-be-microwaved/.
Give Fermentation a try!
Happy Healthy Cultures to you,