You can spend lots of money on tools and gadgets designed specifically for making fermented foods—airlocks to let gas escape from jars, lids with small “windows” you open in order to release gas, glorified glass jars rebranded as “small fermentation crocks,” expensive weights, mandolines to cut vegetables quickly and uniformly… These tools all sound nice […]
What Is Fermentation and Why Do I Go On About It So Much?
If you have read my blog at all, at some point, you may have had one of the following thoughts: Fermentation sounds revolting. Why does she keep going on about it? OMG. I love fermentation. I named my sourdough starter [insert name]. On [insert date] she turns [insert number] years old. We will throw her […]
Fermented Fruit Chutney
I am very excited about this recipe because for this batch of chutney, I used a starter other than whey—my ginger bug. Why had I not thought to do this before? It works so well! As a self-deprecating and modest Canadian, I hate to toot my own horn, but beep beep. Which reminds me of […]
Will My Fermented Food Kill Me? Fermentation FAQs
I love teaching fermentation workshops and answering the many questions attendees ask me. Here, I’ve tried to address most of the common questions I hear but may have missed one or two. If you have a burning question about fermentation that I haven’t included, please ask away and I’ll do my best to answer. This […]
Kombucha Basics and a Brew Log
I teach fermentation classes and my students always have many questions during and after class (I love that!). This post outlines the basic lesson plan for my kombucha class. Near the end of this post, you’ll find my free brew log worksheet to take notes when you just start out. Brew logs? Worksheets? Classes? Is kombucha […]
Why and How to Make Sauerkraut and Krautchi
Click here to jump to the recipe Why ferment? People have fermented foods for thousands of years. At first, ferments must have happened by sheer accident—a handful of vegetables forgotten in salty water or a misplaced bowl of porridge, discovered days later and showing signs of life and gentle bubbling. When those first curious cooks tasted these supposed mistakes, they would […]
For pickles, fermentation was the primary means of preservation until the 1940s, when direct acidification and pasteurization of cucumber pickles was introduced. — The Art of Fermentation Store bought pickles may taste good but to render them shelf-stable, food manufacturers pasteurize the cucumbers in vinegar. On the plus side, they last forever. On the down […]
How Does Fermentation Prevent Food Waste?
Today I taught a fermentation workshop at CVSan in Castro Valley as part of the organization’s Commitment to Serve Week. The theme of the week is zero-waste. It was so much fun! (Thank you Jordan, Naomi and all the staff at CVSan.) But what does fermentation have to do with food waste? Well, I’ve decided […]
Kombucha Barbecue Sauce and a SCOBY Hotel
Click here to jump to the recipe This summer I felt like I had a part-time job brewing kombucha. In the heat and unusual humidity, I had to brew and bottle every four days or even every three! I love kombucha but can (and should) drink only so much. If you need a break from […]