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Fermenting like the gut of a reindeer...  RSS feed

 
Rob Stenger
Posts: 5
Location: Maine, USA (coastal, Zone 5-6)
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I am engaged in a new fermentation project and wonder if anyone (or Sandor) has tried or heard of anything similar: fermenting reindeer moss or other lichens?

Have heard of how this moss (actually a lichen, species name--Cladonia rangiferina) is a delicacy of the Inuit and other northern peoples who eat it from the stomachs of slain reindeer, where it has been softened through the stomach acids to be more digestible to humans. Have also heard of this lichen being par-boiled and then dipped and fried in butter by a chef in Scandinavia.

So I thought I would try to lacto-ferment it and see if it had the same basic effect of increasing digestibility. Results may still be a couple weeks away, however.

-Rob Stenger, Maine, USA
 
Xisca Nicolas
pollinator
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Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
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Would love to hear about the result, as lichen represents for me the climax of the indigestible stuff for us!
reindeers are so adapted to it that they can die when exported in other climates and fed with any richer and more concentrated food!
 
Ben Plummer
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Location: Midcoast Maine, Zone 5b
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Hmm... I may be misidentifying it but I think a couple I work for have heaps of it on their property. Let us know how your experiment turns out!
 
Sandor Katz
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I have never tried fermenting lichens, but it sounds like a great idea. Have fun experimenting!
 
Rob Stenger
Posts: 5
Location: Maine, USA (coastal, Zone 5-6)
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Just checking back in: Final verdict after a prolonged fermentation (ended up letting it go for a few months) was that it didn't really seem to change the texture or taste of the lichen. Even tried adding some kimchi juice to jumpstart it. In retrospect, perhaps a brine was not the way to go. An acidic environment, like that of a stomach, may be a better bet.
 
John Saltveit
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There is a great book on this topic, The Fungal Pharmacy, by Robert Rogers. He focuses on medicinal mushrooms and lichens. For me, mushrooms are challenging. I'm not getting into lichens until I am actually good at mushrooms! He writes a lot about different ones. Here's his Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Fungal-Pharmacy/150069871758709

John S
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