It’s Ferment to Be!

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Day One in the Fermentation Experiment!

My brother Bauer told me that he was looking into making his own saurkraut when we visited him and Tejas in September. The concept sounded kind of daunting until I heard Evan Kleiman interview Sandor Katz about his book The Art of Fermentation on her terrific radio show/podcast Good Food.  Click on This Link to go to the Good Food blog, where you can hear the same interview I heard.

Sandor said it was really easy!  Just take some veggies, crunch them together to kind of bruise them so they’ll take in the salt water, press them into a glass or ceramic container, cover with salt water and wait 3-5 days for gut-friendly microbes to show up and start turning your veggies into pickley stuff. If the veggies want to float, put something in there to weigh them down.  I used a little crockery bowl. Taste every day or so to see how you like them and put them in the fridge when you like the flavor and want to slow the process.

I had a bag of carrots at home, so I followed the simple instructions, salting to taste.  The photo above is them on day 1, December 20th.

I sampled them from day 3-5, and decided to move them to the fridge after that to slow the process down.  They are yummy and kind of addictive, but I’m trying to save some to share on New Year’s Eve.  They retain some carrot flavor, are very very crisp, and have the same yummy bite you find in half-sour pickles.

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Carrots on day 8, green beans on day 2, when I added some garlic.  They get really crunchy and amazing!

There’s a bunch of information on Katz’s Wild Fermentation web site, but I  ordered the book, which should arrive right after the new year begins.  I wish I had some cabbage to get started on kraut.  And kale!  Doesn’t that sound interesting?

Some of you may remember my infatuation with making fruit bounce (booze infused with fruit) a few years ago.  That was fun, but really it produced way more much sweet alcohol than was strictly healthy.  As long as i keep the salt low in my ferments they should be pretty guilt free. In fact, fermenting is said to increase the nutritional value, upping the B12, which is sometimes harder to get in a vegetarian diet.

Here’s a comparison of fermented vs. pickled cucumbers on BetsyLife, if you’re curious.

I’d love to know if you have tried fermenting, or if you decide to give it a go.  Send me a photo and I’ll post it!

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7 thoughts on “It’s Ferment to Be!

  1. kitwocky says:

    Fantastic! I love fermented foods and find them super healthy and beneficial. And easy to make! You will love making your own sauerkraut, and for fun, I’d recommend trying it with purple cabbage some time. Quite lovely!

    Enjoy. xo

    • Sundry says:

      Ah, it makes sense you would have discovered this already! I am so excited about this. Loved the seven sauerkraut dishes in Germany, but never thought I’d make them myself. love the nondairy approach to probiotics, too.

  2. kitty says:

    Oh boy, what now?! hee hee! Next thing I do is click on the links you gave us. Gotta try this!

  3. Orene says:

    There are lots of fermented items in Korean and Japanese cuisines that may interest you. Almost any Korean cookbook will have a variety of recipes for fermented foods. I’ve been on a Korean culture kick for about two years and before that Japan for about three.

    On a tangentially related and slightly odd note, there is a manga called Moyasimon: Tales of Agriculture. It is about a first year student at an agricultural college who can see and communicate with microbes. I saw the live action series and it was as bizarre as you might think. I learned a lot about microbes and Japanese television.

    • Sundry says:

      Ha! I love it! Microbial manga. I’ll check it out.

      Hmmmm. Kim chi. It will be nice to make some just slightly milder than the commercial stuff I’ve tried. I love Asian food. Possibly addicted to pho. I have been grabbing a cookbook or two from our local library, which just opened a little over a year ago,every time I go. I probably need to get more serious about stocking the pantry with more than rice noodles and buckwheat soba.

  4. […] is long gone, eaten like a salad.)  You can check out the origins of my new fermenting fetish here or have a look at Sandor Katz’s  Wild Fermentation website. I’m so hooked on […]

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