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Fermentation. What's it all about?

I have been passionately learning and practicing fermenting since 2007, although with my german background it's been in my blood for centuries.

Rather than re-write why I ferment and promote it so much as a key factor to good health, I thought I would just share a few excerpts from my icon the Fermentation King himself, Sandor Katz. Sandor Katz (New York, 1962) is the author ofThe Art of Fermentation and Wild Fermentation (Chelsea Green Publishing), already two classics in food literature.


Fermentation is everywhere, always. It is an everyday miracle, the path of least resistance. Microscopic bacteria and fungi are in every breathe we take and every bite we eat. Try as we may - and many do - to eradicate them with antibacterial soaps, anti fungal creams, and antibiotic drugs, there is no escaping them. They are ubiquitous agents of transformation, feasting upon decaying matter, constantly shifting dynamic life forces from one miraculous and horrible creation to the next.

Bacteria are essential to life's most basic processes. Organisms of every description rely upon them and other micro-organisms to accomplish many aspects of self-maintenance and self-protection. We humans are in a symbiotic relationship with these sing-cell-life-forms and could not possibly exist without them. This microbiota, digests food into nutrients our bodies can absorb, synthesizes essential nutrients so we don't have to obtain them from food, protects us from potentially dangerous organisms, teaches our immune systems how to function, and regulates many of our physiological systems in ways that we are just beginning to recognize. Not only are we dependent upon microorganisms, we are their descendants: There is widespread agreement that all forms of life on Earth spring from bacterial origins. Microorganisms are our ancestors and our allies. They keep the soil fertile and are an indispensable part of the cycle of life. Without them, there could be no other life.

Tiny beings, invisible to us, bring us compelling and varied flavours for extraordinary culinary transformations. Fermentation gives us many of our most basic staples, such as bread and cheese, and our most pleasurable treats, including chocolate, coffee, wine, and beer. Cultures around the glove enjoy countless exotic fermented delicacies. Fermentation is also used to make food more stable for storage, and more digestible and nutritious. Live, unpasteurized, fermented foods carry beneficial probiotic bacteria directly into our digestive systems, where they can help to replenish and diversify our microbiota.

~ From "Wild Fermentation" by Sandor Katz ~

Golden Beet Kvass at our Pirates Cove Homestead

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