I am always looking to try new foods, and most everyone on permies.com should be familiar with the most common fermented foods. These may include sauerkraut, pickles, and yogurt, etc. I was wondering, what might be some unique and lesser-known fermented foods that you think everyone should try?
Adam, I think your question a useful one. If I might add an observation, and a laterally related question: There seem to be common threads with fermented foods across different cultures. Was this all borne of necessity that we have sauerkraut (german), kapusta (polish), and kim chee (korean, I believe)? Or are fermented foods almost always born accidentally?
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I love the carrot & ginger root recipe that Wardeh teachers (also in Nourishing Traditions.)
Myself, I really want to try nukazuke some time. I don't think Wardeh covers in in her book. It is a method that uses a "bed" of rice bran in a crock; vegetables are buried in it and stirred daily until pickled. I haven't tried it myself because it requires daily care.
One of the fermented foods I love to teach (which is in my book and in my classes) is a low-tech Middle Eastern cheese. I learned it from my mom who learned it from my grandmother. It is salty and delicious and doesn't use a cheesepress and can be stored in a cool pantry in olive oil.
I think fermented foods were borne of both necessity and accident. Accidents showed people the possibilities and then the people ran with it.
Jenni, you can make "kraut" with various greens. I have used spinach and chard to make kraut. They're not as crisp as cabbage as the leaves are more "wimpy". The technique is the same and the results delish.
Natto is included in my book (and my onlineclass). It is pretty easy to make but you have to provide a steady warmer temperature (room temperature won't do). This makes it out of reach for people who don't a dehydrator or some other means, but it is worth doing if you can. And I love that it can be made with any bean, not just soy.
Beth, no, I don't cover nukazuke. I would have loved to include recipes like that but the writing schedule was so tight I didn't have time to test everything I wanted!
--Wardeh ('Wardee') Harmon
GNOWFGLINS -- Enjoying "God's Natural, Organic, Whole Foods, Grown Locally, In Season"
Author of "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Fermenting Foods"
Tim Crowhurst wrote:One Japanese food I've always been curious about ever since I first heard of it is Natto - fermented soybeans.
I was curious too, until I saw, smelled and tasted it. I like lots of things many people don't, but natto is waaay too much for me.
For some really unusual (for most people) fermented foods, check out Bill Mollison's Ferment and Human Nutrition. It contains my all-time favourite fermentation recipe. My paraphrased version: take a large, gutted seal, stuff it with as many whole puffins as you can fit, bury it in the permafrost for ages. Dig up, enjoy
Natto is yummy and good for you. Lots of Vitamin K- good for bone health.
If you can handle stinky cheeses, you can get used to the smell of natto. It is stringy/slimey though.
Google "Andrew Zimmern's Bizarre Foods" I'm pretty sure he's shown it on his show.
My Japanese friend gave me a Natto making cheat sheet. Basically- if you have the right starter (like a store bought quantity of natto), cooked and cooled down soybeans, an oven you can set to really low temp or a yogurt maker... you can make your own natto.
We'll be the water for their fire.
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
Patrick Thornson wrote: If you can handle stinky cheeses, you can get used to the smell of natto
I love stinky cheese! I think natto's alien-slime texture was the main turnoff for me.
I need to have another crack at it. I've practically conquered my pumpkin-loathing, and after that there's only natto...