Fermentation is a favorite hobby of TAR, yet the label of hobby doesn’t quite capture it. It is a lifestyle, diet, and preservation method. While there are many health benefits to fermentation, the flavors it produces are surrounding you today! Soy sauce, miso, pickles, sauerkraut, kimchi, wine, kombucha, vinegar, Sriracha, the list could go on for days. A core principle of TAR is making, or creating over buying or consuming. For much of American and human history Fermentation was mandatory. Primarily as a preservative method to save precious finite fruits and vegies, but also because you didn’t have liquor stores to buy wine. In this day and age Fermentation is finding its way back into American homes, whether looking to save money or experience deep, rich flavors in their cooking.
We are going to share our favorite fermentation resources, as well as a few pointers.
- Vinegar vs Natural Fermentation- While Vinegar is a product of fermentation, using it to preserve cucumbers, onions or anything else actually kills the majority of the micro organisms on the vegetable. Natural fermentation is submerging vegies into a salt water brine, resulting in a lactic acid fermentation. The good microorganisms eat on the vegies producing co2 and lactic acid, which kills harmful bacteria and preserves the vegies.
- Fermentation is safe by default- Obviously some idiots out there have eaten mold, but using salt water, and making sure the veggies aren’t exposed to Oxygen guarantees harmful bacteria will die in the acidic environment. Think about driftwood being preserved in water.
- Never be afraid to experiment and make mistakes.
It’s Alive with Brad Leone – Personal favorite youtube cooking show right here. Despite recent controversy, this series is filled with knowledge. Here are a few of our favorite episodes of It’s Alive.
These reddit communities are great resources to get the essentially real time feedback on what you are making. I would always recommend reading a book from an expert first but its great to get some community and creative recipe ideas.
Sandor Katz, The GOAT
Sandor Katz is the foremost authority in the world on Fermentation as far as TAR is concerned. Living off the land in Woodbury, TN Katz has written all encompassing books that will educated you on the science but also the history of fermentation all while giving great recipes.
Check out his magnum opus The Art of Fermentation.