I write in Fermenting Revolution about how fermentation is the key factor needed to create many of the world’s staple foods and drinks. Take, for example, this list of just a few of the most obvious: chocolate, coffee, beer, cheese, yogurt, vinegar, and bread. The list could go on and on and cover cultures from China to Cameroon.
Sandor Ellix Katz wrote a great book called Wild Fermentation, which includes recipes for everything from Ethiopian t’ej (honeywine) to kvass (a Russian alcoholic ferment) and from sauerkraut to miso. Katz is routinely on the road offering fermentation workshops. I haven’t managed to catch one yet, but his approach does seem wild and thus promises to be fun. Check the website I linked above for a list of his upcoming events and for news about his new book called The Revolution Will not Be Microwaved.
The fermentation culture is catching. Health advocate Nancy Lee Bentley just penned a new book on the bubbling of bacteria entitled Truly Cultured: Rejuvenating Taste, Health, and Community with Naturally Fermented Foods. The book looks at a number of health crises through the petri dish lens of fermented fauna, including such problems as obesity, chemical sensitivity, and even “out of whackism.”
My favorite quote: “Support bacteria. It’s the only culture some of us have.”