[SHORT, Quick Lovin' ]
April makes everyone feel they can ferment at home, easy-peasy! Just play with it !
**Take away** always taste and smell the fermentation as it progresses so you know if it is going off.
Last night I attended a Fermentations class at the kitchen in the Fumbally Stables. This. place. is. sick!
I know the Fumbally as the hub of community, from yoga to learning to eat better, to actually eating better!!
There has been lots of interest in recent years about wild fermentations, especially in beer and wine. Industrially these would have been uncommon because companies want to be able to guarantee an outcome; a certain amount of ‘alcohol’ or gas is being produced in the time expected. Due to the manufactured nature of food, consumers expect the same bottle of wine or vinegar and flavour every time. Well, if we shift our minds off that for a moment and let our expectation wild, you get a much more organic growth that is inherent to the environment. the ‘mother’ culture (or starter) is shaped by the environment it's in.
April Danann, a food and nutrition specialist from Cork came to talk to us about wild fermentations. We got hands-on experience with all the different types of micro-cultures. She is the fermentation geek, I'd say. She runs the fermented food and wellness stall 'Rebel Foods'
at a few markets in Cork.
She demystified the technique behind the science - and/or vice versa depending what you were getting from it. We made each of the following: Sourdough, apple cider vinegar, sauerkraut, and vinegar drinks.
It turns out April had a previous life in microbiology & worked in a similar capacity to me in Canada. Woohoo! This is the interesting part of the story for me.
For myself, after a whole semester of fermentations & degree of studying microbiological and biochemical pathways, I can confidently say that I actually have NO idea about fermentations. Well, i mean there was the failed kimchi, the bread pickles, a few batches of beer and bread; and brief stint in wine-making. I have so much to learn about sourdough and keeping these little organisms happy ;)
I am happy share that I'm a proud owner of a sourdough starter (yet to decide on a name for my new baby), and some vinegar mother that I can proliferate! Gut microflora here we come.
*if you're interested in any of the procedures or tips we learned in class let me know below and i'll do another post on those =)