I am not a very patient person. I am a type-A control freak that doesn’t have the patience to just wait and see how things turn out. This is why attempting to learn the art of fermentation has been not only a culinary exploration, but an exploration in and a challenge of my patience. I’ve been doing some lacto-fermentation and kombucha ferments lately and it has been oh so rewarding and oh so delicious.
What I’ve learned thus far:
- Fermentation is crazy cool. Basically, you’re putting out food on your counter (or in my case, in the pantry) without refrigeration and just letting it hang out. Not usually something one likes to practice when you like to keep a clean house. The amazing thing about it is that the environment you create with your brine and sealed jar allows the Lactobacillus bacteria (a good bacteria found on the surface of many plants) to convert sugars in lactic acid. The lactic acid then inhibits the growth of bad bacteria that rots food and instead creates a perfect environment for more good bacteria and enzymes to live happily in your jar of good for your gut deliciousness. In the case of kombucha, the super cool SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast) eats the sugar from your sweet tea and turns it into good bacteria, enzymes and vitamins! Amazing!
- I have more patience than I expected. At first, when I started, I thought “Oh GAWD, how the heck will I be able to wait a few weeks to eat this sauerkraut??? I want it NOW!” But like they say, good things come to those who wait. After staring at the fermenting cabbage for minutes at a time, multiple times every day for over a week, I decided to just let go and let FERMENT. Well worth it. After two weeks, I tasted the sauerkraut. It was tart and crunchy and slightly salty. Perfection!
- I really love the taste of fermented foods! Well, I kind of already knew this. I love buying a kombucha at the grocery store and I have had sauerkraut in the past. However, there is something so satisfying about eating or drinking your own ferments.
I absolutely encourage you to try fermenting your own foods sometimes. The best advice I have right now is to get yourself a top for your mason jar for fermenting like this one. I tried just using a coffee filter and ended up with some nasty mold on those ferments. I love my airlock top and really want to try the Pickle Pipe from MasonTops.com.
I will certainly be posting some of my recipes I find that I really like. Fermenting takes time though and I’m new at it, so it may take some time for me to feel like I should share my own recipes with you guys. For now, take a look at this site for some great recipes I’ve been trying and really loving!