Sandor Katz join us to talk fermentation, and how to make sauerkraut, and just how much of our food is a product of fermentation. Sandor Katz is the author of The Art of Fermentation, An In-Depth Exploration of Essential Concepts and Processes from Around the World.
We talk about the ubiquity of fermented food in our world:
"So many of our food staples and gourmet treats are products of fermentation" Sandor points out. Eric brings up the bread starter he is working with based on the Tartine Bread book. Sandor points out how just adding water to flour will start fermentation. He has a starter and makes pancakes with his starter.
Sandor Katz on Food Safety
"Fermentation is actually a strategy for safety" says Sandor, explaining how fermentation wipes out the bad organism that can cause food safety issues
How to get started in fermentation
Sandor suggests starting with vegetables and a container you have in your kitchen. You don't need any special starters. Any kind of vegetables will work, you can mix them together, add seasonings. Chop up your vegetables, add some salt, enough for it to taste good, squeeze the vegetables, bruise them to allow the salt to interact. Stuff them into the glass or ceramic jar you have, get them submerged under the liquid. You can put a plate with a weight on it to keep the vegetables under the brine. Leave it on the counter in a darker corner, with the jar slightly open. If any mold appears, scrape it off and allow the vegetables to ferment more.
You can let it ferment a week or month, and then when it tastes to your liking, you can move it to your fridge.
Sandor then talks about the cabin he is restoring with volunteer help, and the workshops he hosts. You can get more info on his site about where he is hosting fermentation workshops.
Listen to Daniel Gasteiger talk fermentation on this GF Radio episode