Battling Fear & Loathing in the Cultured Kitchen: The Four Cultures Anita Keeps

Note from Shannon: I am pleased to bring the voices of our lovely contributors to this space every Tuesday. Please welcome Anita, CFH Customer Service Rep & cultured kitchen-keeper.

My Name is Anita, I love my job and my cultures!   The best part of my job is helping others get over the sometimes daunting prospect of learning to culture foods.  The most common obstacle I see is fear.  It can be very scary to think about creating a living colony of bacteria and yeast and then feeding it to your family!

I completely understand. When I began making cultured foods I was fortunate to have a wonderful person to guide and assist me through the rough spots.  She patiently answered my frantic questions and gave me the confidence to feed my family living foods.

It would be impossible to pick my favorite culture but I have four that are always going in my kitchen…

Milk Kefir

Our current favorite flavoring is a splash of maple syrup.  We have also tried a second fermentation for milk kefir with Orange Zest, Blueberries and strawberries.  The second fermentation really infuses the flavor with added robustness.  We prefer a less tart flavor so our second fermentation is approximately six hours.

Water Kefir

Our current favorite is a second fermentation with sliced ginger. We’ve also tried Blueberries, Pomegranate, Orange Zest and Lemon.   I also used finished water kefir to make Tepache, which is a delicious fermented drink made with fresh pineapple, sugar and spices.


My favorite sourdough starter is Camaldoli.  It is a good, active starter with a great flavor.  Pancakes and crackers are always popular but our favorite is a loaf of bread baked in a Dutch Oven right out of the fireplace.  Always a big hit with our family when the electricity goes out.


What fermented kitchen is complete without delicious kombucha brewing?  The continuous brew system has an honored spot in the corner.  A current favorite of ours is a second fermentation with peach or ginger.



Anita became interested in healthy food and its benefits when her daughter developed food sensitivities. This started her family down a path toward cultured foods and backyard homesteading with gardens, chickens, and the soon-to-be addition of goats.

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  1. says

    Wow, you’ve got a lot going on! I only do kombucha and sourdough and I get exhausted thinking about it. We’ll likely add water kefir back in, along with yogurt, but just the thought makes me tired.

  2. Luc says

    Cultured food is so exciting. To make rice, I use whole grain rice and soak them 4 hours in water and one heaping tablespoon of sourdough (spelt sourdough that I made from scratch). The rice cooks in less time and is so much tastier. But I am not equipped to measure the absorption of the minerals from the cultures whole rice.


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