Getting cultured – the art of produce fermentation

By
Artisan House
Added
11 September, 2015

When produce is fresh and in abundant supply, it's a great time to start "culturing them".

Since long, long ago, many civilisations have pickled and fermented foods primarily to preserve them, in modern days known as CulturingFood. Unknowingly, they were magnificently creating superfoods packed with healthy microorganisms (also knownas “probiotics”) and reaping all sorts of health benefits.

Research has proven time and again that the age-old practice of fermentation is good medicine because of the “healthy bacteria” that are contained within these foods.

Fermenting produce is quite easy and fun with a blend of art and science that must be practiced to be successful.

To those who are new to fermenting their own produce, perhaps the best wayforward would be to invest into a good fermentation kit. This way you will have all utensils and vessels, including good quality sea salt to get you started.

For those who have practiced home fermentation before and are comfortable withusing their existing fermentation equipment, just a few important considerations:

Which salt to use and how much of it?

An ideal salt for fermenting is whole, unrefined, and full of natural vitamins and minerals. Find out all about salt here.

As a general rule of thumb, whenever we are fermenting produce at Artisan House, we use approximately 2 tablespoons per ½ kg of shredded vegetables.

What to "culture"?

Practically any vegetable can be fermented, and culturing fresh produce is a safeand enjoyable way to provide good nutrition year-round. You can ferment onevegetable alone or create a mix of many different kinds, along with herbs and spices,for a great variety of cultured foods.

Which fermentation method/recipe to use?

There are a few methods that are generally used:

  • Kneading salt directly in to shredded vegetablesdraws their juice out and they then ferment in their own juices. This is the lengthiest method but in our opinion yields the most flavoursome and desirable result;
  • Dissolving salt in water, to make a brine and then submerging the vegetables in the brine completely for proper fermentation works faster and is less messy, but does not yield the same intense vegetable flavours as the prior method;
  • Using a combination of lactic acid (such as Kefirwhey) and a brine speeds up the whole fermentation process (in some cases lesseningthe fermentation period by half) but produces a more acidic, sour tasting result.

So, the method employed should really be determined by your taste buds. However you prefer to make it, remember that if you choose the best ingredients and practice your technique with love, your cultured veggies will be healthy and delicious!

Further information on fermentation of produce is readily available in published books and from specialists such as Kitsa Yonniotisof Emporio Organico.

Want to win your own fermentation pack? Enter our competition to win one of five Artisan House produce packs valued at up to $200. Enter here.

    No results found
    No more results
      No results found
      No more results
        No results found
        No more results
          No results found
          No more results
            No results found
            No more results
              No results found
              No more results
              Please start typing to begin your search
              We're sorry but we had trouble running your search. Please try again