The The Guru of Fermentation
The New York Times has a profile on Sandor Katz, an absolute prophet of the wonders of fermented food. I am lucky to own one of Mr. Katz’s books (Wild Fermentation) and have used it to delve into my own experiments with fermented foods (thus far having only created a single batch of sauerkraut and a batch of kimchi).
The article comes at a good time. As we head into fall and the weather begins to grow cooler I have been thinking about doing some more vegetable ferments (things like sauerkraut arguably ferment better in slightly cooler weather, as the lactobacillus thrives more in slightly cooler temperatures. in warmer weather you get more yeast ferments causing a “bready” flavor. The yeast isn’t bad, just different. My first batch of sauerkraut definitely had more yeast characteristics than those of lactobacillus). I definitely want to try another sauerkraut and I love kimchi and would be pretty down with having some more of that too. Furthermore, it has been about a year since I last brewed any beer and I feel like I need to do one of those soon.
Not all fermented foods are for everybody, the funk and flavor of a powerful kimchi or sauerkraut may turn off the less culinary adventurous of us. However, as the article points out, we’ve probably all had some kind of fermented food in our lives considering that ubiquitous bread requires yeast interaction. So here’s to the wonders of fermentation and the delights it can produce. And here’s to Mr. Katz for making the matter relevant and exciting.