Note from Shannon: Please welcome Janet, Cultures for Health Content Contributor and Cultured-Kitchen Keeper.
My first adventure into fermentation stemmed from Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions a few years ago. Then I read Sandor Ellix Katz’s Wild Fermentation, here is my take on the book here. Continual experimentation and the joy of eating fermented food, led me to read recently Real Food Fermentation: Preserving Whole Fresh Food with Live Cultures in Your Home Kitchen by Alex Lewin.
Here is a look at what I found within the pages.
His personal tone and design layout made me feel like if I met him, we would become fast friends. In the introduction he states, “When we make our own food we regain control of our lives–”, which struck a positive chord with me as it is so on target. In my opinion, whole food living is the so simple: when we have a healthy relationship with nutrition, the rest of our lives just seem to be more balanced. It just makes sense to eat food chemical free and fermentation is an ancient, tried and true method of doing so.
You might be telling yourself that it takes a lot of time and effort to do this. Honestly, yes, it does take more time, but it brings us closer to our food, where it comes from and how it can be produced and stored. Using Lewin’s book as a guide, it eases the process.
This book is a stellar book for beginners including some of the basics of how to make your own yogurt and buttermilk. And although I have been fermenting for a few years now, I found a few eclectic recipes such as an interesting peach and plum chutney with lime, mead (honey wine), and even a simple ginger ale. In addition, there are plenty of pictures for visual learners to follow the step-by-step recipes. This cookbook is also a great reference book and has found a permanent place in my kitchen.
It is refreshing for me to know that there are plenty of real food lovers out there who share the same passion for fermenting. Take a gander at Cultures for Health for plenty of great information. Or maybe start your own cultured food/fermenting group in your community. Listen to podcasts like FermUp, a space for novices and experts alike. And as my father said when I was young: “stretch yourself, continue learning as there is always more to know”. Culture on!