Washington Post Praises the Wonders of Fermented Foods, and Sandor Ellix Katz!

170

After tuning in to David Gumpert’s blog about the recent madness surrounding raw milk and other raw foods, it’s refreshing to find some mainstream media coverage that focuses on the deliciousness and benefits of fermentation and friendly bacteria.

As usual, author Sandor Ellix Katz and his essential cookbook Wild Fermentation are given the praise they deserve, and other “fermentation fetishists” in the DC area are highlighted. Lovely photos accompany the article on the Washington Post’s website.

By Kristen Hinman

Special to The Washington Post
Tuesday, September 14, 2010; 10:14 AM Friendly bacteria might not be an easy notion to wrap your brain around in the context of food these days.

Monica Corrado says bring ’em on. And she’s not the only one.

Pack raw food into a jar, then seal it to keep out air, says the Takoma Park teacher of lactofermentation. Leave at room temperature and let feisty, naturally occurring microbes go to town for several days or even weeks. Open. Taste. Feast.

To see Corrado lick her lips after lapping up some of her “live” homemade ketchup, to watch her eyes dance as she opens a jar of her bubbling salsa and, yes, to taste her hissing peach chutney, redolent with crushed red pepper, is to concede that she might be on to something.

Part science, part art, lactofermentation is an ancient method of food preservation using live bacterial cultures. Anathema though it may seem to a generation of antibacterial hand-gel obsessives, the technique is increasingly being embraced by DIY aficionados and whole-food advocates who like the idea of low-tech preservation and also believe that unpasteurized foods aid digestion and boost immunity.

As Corrado puts it, “We’re live people. We’re not meant to eat only dead food!”

“I would say 99.999 percent of people in the United States eat fermented foods every single day,” says Sandor Ellix Katz, author of “Wild Fermentation” (Chelsea Green, 2003). “Bread, cheese, yogurt, sour cream, coffee, tea, chocolate, salami: Many everyday foods are produced by microorganisms and fermentation. Even though it mostly takes place behind factory doors, where nobody has to think about the fact that it’s the cultivation of bacteria that are enabling these foods to grace our table, there they are, everywhere.”

Read the entire article here…

Check out Wild Fermentation in our bookstore, and in just a few weeks we’ll also have available a DVD of one of Sandor’s popular fermentation workshops. Watch a trailer in the bookstore!

Recent Articles

RECIPE: Summer Cherry Cornmeal Cobbler

It’s that time of year again: Outdoor barbecues are a weekend staple, trips to the beach and pool are becoming more frequent, and cherries are ripe for the picking! In their book, Cooking Close to Home: A Year of Seasonal Recipes, authors Diane Imrie and Richard Jarmusz provide a seasonal guide chock full of recipes…

Read More

No Forbidden Fruit: Life-Changing Applesauce Recipe

In her new book The Fruit Forager’s Companion, author Sara Bir encourages readers to embrace the magic of hunting for foraged fruit—delivering a how-to guide devoted to the secret, sweet bounty just outside our front doors. Bir, a seasoned chef, gardener, and forager, primes readers on foraging basics, demonstrates gathering and preservation techniques, and shares…

Read More

Recipe: Simple, Greek-Style Yogurt

If you’ve got cows, you likely already know the joys of making your own yogurt. It’s easy, delicious, and oh-so-rewarding! If you don’t have cows, we think this recipe will convince you that you need some. The following excerpt is from Keeping a Family Cow by Joann S. Grohman. It has been adapted for the…

Read More

Recipe: Country Elderberry Wine

There’s really nothing better than sitting down after a long day with a glass of wine and the sun setting in the distance. Unless of course you foraged for the berries for said wine, crushed them by hand, added in some sugar, water, and citric acid, bottled it up, and waited six months before you…

Read More

Daylily Dangers and Delights

Got some invasive daylilies taking over your garden? Instead of weeding them out why not eat them instead? A common vegetable in China and Japan, daylilies are more than a pretty flower. In her new book, Forage, Harvest, Feast, forager, and author Marie Viljoen describes their taste as “Green bean meets white asparagus by way…

Read More