|New Pond Farm, Redding, Connecticut|
|Alex Keilty, our Guru of Gastronomy|
hours that was! Our Guru of Gastronomy (the moniker Minister of Culture having already been taken) was Alex Keilty, a dedicated promoter of the benefits of fermented foods.
If you are thinking sauerkraut, think again. There is much more to fermented foods that that. Fermented foods include miso, tempeh, fish sauce, kombucha, pickles, wine, beer, yogurt and plenty more. Click HERE for an interesting list. Caveat emptor: If you want real fermented pickles and sauerkraut, you probably should learn how to do it yourself; the stuff on the supermarket shelves is possibly more about fast flavor than full fermentation.
|Stripping the herbs ...|
We covered a lot of territory, but I think I'll have to go back for another class because I am so bad at retaining information. We had kefir (a fermented milk product, similar to yogurt in taste but not texture), which is pretty good. I can definitely imagine incorporating it in a smoothie. There was also an opportunity to sip on some buttermilk but I did not partake. It's weird, really ... I have tasted tons of foods that many consider to be exotic yet I have never tried buttermilk. It just sounds creepy to me, although I do like buttermilk pancakes and buttermilk biscuits. Go figure, right?
As we worked at the big kitchen table, Alex treated us to a concoction of smashed up avocado mixed with his latest batch of ferment and a bag of blue corn chips to scoop it up. It was OMG-worthy. It was delicious and everyone went nuts for it. I know "comparisons are odious" but this stuff is way better than guacamole.
|We chopped, we diced, we grated ...|
If I remember correctly, here are the vegetables we chopped, sliced, shredded and so forth: green cabbage, carrots, red onions, red bell peppers, beets, ginger, and a bit of garlic. If you are so inclined, you can add herbs and spices ... oregano and red pepper flakes, for example.
|Ready to start fermenting|
There are a few details beyond that, but you can read all about it in many places online. Here are links to an interesting website and a few books, recommended by Alex:
Nourishing Days (website)
The Art of Fermentation: An In-Depth Exploration of Essential Concepts and Processes from Around the World (Sandor Ellix Katz)
Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats (Sally Fallon)
Real Food Fermentation Food for Health: Preserving Whole Fresh Food with Live Cultures in Your Home Kitchen (Alex Lewin)
The Acid - Alkaline Food Guide: A Quick Reference to Foods & Their Effect on ph Levels (Susan E. Brown)