Pickled Planet Fermented Foods

Monthly Archives: June 2009

Fermentation beats Canning

June 2009 – Tara Duggan @ the San Francisco Chronicle

The full-length article mentions that pairing wine w/ sauerkraut and other high-acid foods is a challenge. We find that our sauerkraut goes great with all kinds of wine and fits great on a cheese/cracker plate. Happy eating!

Canning may still be having its comeback in this DIY era, but traditionally fermented vegetables – such as sauerkraut, kimchi and barrel-fermented pickles – take urban homesteaders to the next level of old-style food preservation. An easy and delicious way to put up the harvest, fermenting appeals both to the slow food and the health food crowds. It also fascinates those curious about food chemistry, whether a professional cook or passionate home tinkerer.

“There’s a renaissance of interest in fermented foods,” says Jessica Prentice, cookbook author and co-founder of the Locavores, the group who helped bring attention to using strictly local ingredients. At last month’s fermentation festival in Freestone (Sonoma County), Prentice demonstrated how to make kimchi and sauerkraut. She considers the amount of attention being given to fermented foods – including by teenage vegans and hip young urbanites – at the level of a “movement.”

The vast majority of store-bought pickles rely on vinegar for sourness, and most commercial sauerkraut is pasteurized at vast processing plants. Fermented pickles and unpasteurized sauerkrauts are made from raw vegetables that sit in a salty brine at cool room temperature for several weeks. This encourages the growth of beneficial, naturally occurring lactic bacteria, which destroys potentially harmful bacteria and creates lactic acid. Lactic fermentation causes the vegetables to become mildly, pleasantly sour and tender.

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