Wild Fermentation is a tour of fermentation around the world. It touches fermentation of vegetables, milk, grains and more. It is based on the author's experience and gives techniques for the reader to reproduce the fermented products that are described throughout the book.
I give this book a 9/10 acorns....
This book was my first on fermented everything and made the process so easy that I taught a class to my transitions group after reading this and following his simple instructions for most things fermented. In this book you not only get instructions and recipies but you get the knowledge to understand the process and why it works without you even trying! With this you can forge on with no fear of poisoning yourself with rotten things, and with the excitement of creating more nutritious food by encouraging healthy microbes to grow in your food! This will also teach you what kinds of vitamins you are missing out on by not fermenting all your condiments. What? you didn't know most of your condiments used to be fermented? It's no wonder our nations health is lacking, but thanks to Sandor and his bubbling experiments and willingness to share his trials and tribulations in this book you will find the knowledge and confidence to ferment anything.
The purchase of this book will make you want a root cellar and more counterspace...
I would give this 8 out of 10 acorns. I have both this book and Katz's The Art of Fermentation. I gave that book 10 out of 10 acorns as it is encyclopedic. This earlier book is thinner but passionate and will convince you of the value of fermentation. If you can get both, do. If you haven't fermented yet but are interested, get this one. If you have done a little and want to know more, get the other one.
Works at a residential alternative high school in the Himalayas SECMOL.org . "Back home" is Cape Cod, E Coast USA.
i give this book a 9 out of 10 acorns!
You dont have to be a foodie or a chef to enjoy this book. SE Katz makes fermentation accessible, easy, and cool to newbies and offers new recipes and ideas to seasoned kitchen experimenters. at one point i found the book free online, but not sure if its still hangout out anymore... but if i find it again i will post a link! And i've had handfuls of friends RAVE about his classes and in-home workshops.
I read Wild Fermentation cover to cover and found it both fun and informative. I love cookbooks like that. It never occurred to me before reading this book that yeast was available from our environment and easily useable. This is probably my favorite cookbook.
Wild fermentation is an information rich, life changing book, by an individual with equally as fascinating facial hair.
If you are just starting to explore fermented foods, or a seasoned yeast cultivar, you can't go wrong. Ellix leaves somethings, much like permaculture, for the reader to adapt the process to one's each own needs. It can be a tad frustrating for one who wants step by step exacts of the fermentation process, but that's not how fermenting foods works. If this ever makes it to him, and I'm dead serious, have you ever fermented something from your 'stache yeast?
If ever there was a book to ferment a cultural revolution as to how we eat, this would be the one. Katz writing, and this book in particularly, has had a major effect on my life. I love this book and recommend it to everyone, any chance I get. They say to give 10 acorns means that you would have to pry this book from my cold dead hands - heck, no. My cold dead hands aren't giving up this book, that easily.
Wild Fermentation is a book about fermented foods, be it for health, taste, preservation or in most cases, all of the above. Katz provides recipes that are easily adapted to different ingredients, dietary requirements, and environments. Sauerkraut, kimchi, miso paste, applecider (or as they say south of the 49th, Hard Apple Cider), tempeh, cheese, yoghurt, bread, vinegars, beers, wines, and a whole slew of other delicious recipes are included in this book. Katz writes in a way that makes you think, 'what's so difficult about making sauerkraut? Why don't I try it?' This is an inspiration book for beginners and experts alike. If you eat food, this is the book for you.
Katz approach to fermentation is very friendly and encouraging. Although non-critical of fancy, high tech, modern day approach to fermentation, Katz focuses on the wild aspect of the craft. Not wild as in 'wild and crazy', but wild as in working with the naturally occurring wild bacteria and yeast that already cohabitate with you. People have been successfully fermenting foods for a few thousand years before invention of airlocks and antibacterial soap. You can do it too. Katz shows us how to create an environment that encourages the invisible beasties we want - be it yeast, bacteria, mold, what have you - and tells us how to keep it safe.
For those of you new to fermenting food at home, but worry about not having the 'correct' equipment or not doing things the 'right' way, turn off the internet and pick up this book.
Wild Fermentation is the jumping off point for learning about fermenting food. Sandor Katz started the revival, and contributed immeasurably to making at-home fermentation accessible to us all. No more artificially flavored “pickles” from the store! His book provides clear and easy recipes, with an emphasis on exploration. He introduces his techniques in a clear and uncomplicated manner, and gets the reader moving in the right direction. Sandor’s fun stories and examples will have any DIY enthusiast creating probiotic super foods in no time. Let’s all raise our glasses (of Beet Kvass) and say cheers to Sandor for sharing his knowledge with the rest of us.
You can never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete. -R Buckminster Fuller
This was my inspiration for starting my fermentation experiments, and I will never look at the world the same! When I read about his friend making kombucha out of Mountain Dew, I knew that the power of fermentation is truly amazing. Through Katz's inspiration my family will never be accused of having a bland diet! I've been inspired to ferment my morning coffee with kefir grains, try my own recipe for fermented kale kim-chi, and a myriad of other experiments. Wild Fermentation proves that recipes are nice, but not even close to a requirement. The knowledge passed down with the basic understanding of wild fermentation can be a life changer, in Ellix's case literally!
This was the first book I fully tried out with our new scribd membership and I was overall satisfied with the book. It lost three acorns for the following reasons:
It is very lightweight and very little more than a recipe book. That is great if you are looking for a recipe book only, but I do feel it should be advertised as exclusively a recipe book because of that. A bit more on WHY fermented foods are good for you, HOW the fermentation process works, and HOW to best keep your cultures pure would all have been great additions.
The number of recipes were also fairly limited. Perhaps this demerit is petty, but one of my favorite foods - pickled daikons - were not even covered (except as an addition to kimchi). If a person like me who eats very few fermented foods could spot an omission it does make me wonder at how many other recipes were not included that would have been interesting and relative to what we produce.
Finally, the pictures seemed relatively random at times and there were very few (if any) diagrams. Again as a cooking book I suppose that is alright but some of the written descriptions would have been a lot easier to understand (such as how to set up the crock for sauerkraut and such) if accompanied by a diagram.
All in all it was a great book, but not worth buying new at the price listed for it. Finding a used copy or borrowing it from the library would be my recommendation.
This was the second book that I have read by Sandor Ellix Katz. The first one I have read was The Revolution Will Not be Microwaved, which was written after Wild Fermentation was written. I can see how Wild Fermentation led up to The Revolution Will Not be Microwaved, because there is significant social commentary within Wild Fermentation, which I think was rather enjoyable. Instead of looking at Wild Fermentation as just a recipe book, I read it more of as general guidelines, because like Sandor says in the book, "the focus of this book is the basic process of transformation." And I believe he did just that! He provides an introductory overview of what fermentation is, its origins, what industrialization is doing to our food, and then provides resources and recipes to fight back and get fermenting! The sections of the book are well-organized, because they start off from least complex and gradually increase a bit in complexity. This helps to ease the beginner fermenter into doing fermentation. I think food, culture, and health are interrelated, and Wild Fermentation teases at this idea, which gets more fleshed out in The Revolution Will Not be Microwaved. Within Wild Fermentation, Sandor declares, "My advice is to reject the cult of expertise. Do not be afraid. Do not allow yourself to be intimidated... Fermentation is easy and exciting. Anyone can do it." I firmly see that Wild Fermentation was written whole-heatedly in this light, because the book provides just enough information to get you going, and it provides a large enough overview of fermentation and types of fermentation to get your creative juices flowing. Overall, I think Wild Fermentation provides "do-it-yourself[ers]... [with] an attitude of self-empowerment and openness to learning."