The Art of Fermentation

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If you'd like to share your thoughts on our "The Art of Fermentation" review, please do so here. We'd love to hear what you think!

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By: Kyle Young | Jun 27, 2012 11:41 PM | Permalink
Growing up in the 50's and 60's we often had homemade sauerkraut. Since then I hadn't eaten much fermented food until 2003 when someone gave me a copy of Nourishing Traditions (published in 1999) by Sally Fallon. I believe Katz credits N.T. as how he originally got interested in fermented food ("Wild" was published in 2003). However the grand daddy of all books on fermented food is Ferment and Human Nutrition (1993) by - of all people - Bill Mollison, co-founder of the Permaculture movement. The take home from all these books is that the refrigerator has driven a wedge between us and our symbiotic relationship with these beneficial microbes. This spring I put up 1 - 15 liter and 2 - 10 liter water seal crocks loaded with last winters savoy, green, red and napa cabbage, kale, collard greens, onions and garlic. At the rate its being used that 35 liters might last until fall. i have some info on fermenting wildcrafted food at my farms website,

By: | Jun 27, 2012 03:39 PM | Permalink
In 1962, a long-time school friend and I graduated from High School, and to celebrate, we decided to put up a small batch of wine. (We'd never done it before, but we had a magazine article that said it was easy.) A neighbor had a grape arbor, and had offered to let us pick whatever we needed.

So we picked the grapes, crushed them with an ancient little press, bottled them as the article outlined, and stored them in his parents' basement. Then he went off to serve in the military, and I went off to college.

We wrote occasionally (snail mail back then!), and once in a while, I wondered how the wine was doing. Four years later, he came home, and we went to the basement to check it out. (We had matured a lot in four years, and we figured the wine probably had as well.......)

With great anticipation, we opened a bottle, poured two glasses, toasted our friendship, and took a sip.

It was the most awful stuff I had ever tasted, and we both cracked up!

Fifty years later, we are still friends, and still laugh about that batch of wine.

By: cynthia | Jun 27, 2012 11:57 AM | Permalink
CRAFTSY.COM offers an online cheesemaking course, which might be of interest to people.

The course never expires, you can visit the site and get more information!

By: Virginia Abraham | Jun 26, 2012 11:59 PM | Permalink
Looking forward to asking library to carry this one; fermentation is so interesting...and since our immunity lives in our gut, and GMO's are supposedly not helping our guts, we must.

I learned a little fermentation from a professional clown (no kidding, a very cool lady, check out "Pepito" on FB, hope she is still at it). Her partner is a follower of Jon Jeavons and together they heal with laughter and great ferment. Awesome folk.

Just heard from newspaper there will be a fermentation class at on old-fashioned sauerkraut. Kinda pricey, like 60 bucks. But I'd love to try- I remember my Mom making 'kraut on the farm in a huge old pottery urn with a plate on top.

Once housesat for some folks making mead- they had bees, and honey-wine must be incredible!

Good work, thanks for sharing this thought-provoking news! Thank you.

By: Maria Blon | Jun 26, 2012 10:52 PM | Permalink
Hello! I met a Korean man at my permaculture course who taught me how to ferment weeds or fruit into enzymes using organic sugar. I would like to read up on this method and wonder if you have a source for me.

Thanks! Maria

By: William and Teresa Kraker | Jun 26, 2012 09:10 PM | Permalink
I had never heard of kefir grains until this past April, when a friend gave me some. Knowing nothing about it, I was a little intimidated, but I went online and researched how to grow them, and within a week was happily fermenting a quart of milk a day. We love the smoothies we make with it, and I hope to try some cheese soon. It's so much easier than yogurt since it 'incubates' at room temperature and seems to thrive no matter what I do with it!

By: Mark Carlson | Jun 26, 2012 07:18 PM | Permalink
Thanks, this is simply great (article on fermentation)! The article mentions "curd pictured above" which I don't see. Please send it out!

Thanks again, Mark Carlson

By: | Jun 26, 2012 07:15 PM | Permalink
I'm experiencing that phenomenon when something you'd never heard of before is suddenly talked about everywhere you look.

I don't eat much dairy, so I bought some water kefir grains just this month. The water kefir variety looks like little bits of clear acrylic and feels like tofu, and it's hard to believe that they are anything more than that until I find that they've multiplied. They are so much more fun than I expected! Yes, they must be fed properly and protected from substances that may be harmful to them but they are quiet and don't need a litter box. The resulting drink is fizzy and tangy and potentially explosive if you're not careful, lol. I'm fermenting my third little batch right now and am already sharing with friends. :)

By: | Jun 26, 2012 06:21 PM | Permalink
When a friend gave me some sourdough starter, I was dubious at first about my commitment to making bread on a regular basis but now, I'm hooked. I enjoy feeding and kneading the starter every couple days and the bread is really easy to make in my Cuisinart. We're making our own goat cheese, too, so with veggies from our garden, we've got a lot of our diet covered and we feel great.

By: Jennifer Snyder | Jun 26, 2012 05:55 PM | Permalink
June 6 is past. Why do we get invited to join an out-of-date contest? Boo-hoo on your timing!
says:    (Jun 26, 2012 12:00 AM)

I was thinking the same thing until I realized that June 6 was a Wednesday and July 6 is a Friday, so they probably meant July 6. Go ahead and enter - I did!

Erin Barnett says:    (Jun 27, 2012 12:00 AM)

Sorry for the typo! Time flies in the summer. Please do enter -- the contest is open until 5 p.m. on Friday, JULY 6. -- Erin

By: Amy | Jun 26, 2012 05:28 PM | Permalink
Wow, I had never heard of this book but after reading your review in the newsletter, watching the YouTube video of making kraut and visiting the website - I AM HOOKED! I hope we get some wonderful cabbage in our CSA share this week so I can try my hand at making saurkraut!
Paula Tarver says:    (Jun 27, 2012 12:00 AM)

The book Nourishing Traditions has a lot of this type of information in it. I really like the carrot and ginger relish and the beet relish recipes found there. And over ripe kefir that is too strong for my palate is a good substitute for liquid in bread. It gives the bread a great flavor.

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