Fermentation is the transformative action of microorganisms. Culinary traditions everywhere make use of fermentation and guide the process so as to avoid food spoilage and instead produce foods and beverages that are enhanced in terms of preservation, nutrition and digestibility, flavor, and/or alcohol. Biologists define fermentation differently, as anaerobic metabolism, and most fermented foods and beverages meet this criteria, however some do require oxygen (vinegar, kombucha, tempeh, certain cheeses) and yet these are still widely recognized as fermented. Typically the word fermentation is reserved for microbial processes that are desirable. Undesirable transformations are described as spoilage or rotting rather than fermentation.

anon image

Lacto Fermentation

Lacto Fermentation

Douglas Gayeton for Lexicon of Sustainability

Lacto Fermentation

Location: Cultured, Berkeley, CA

Featuring: Sandor Katz, Alex Hozven, Kevin, Iva, Erik and Marian

Lacto Fermentation: A process of food preservation using lactobacilli bacteria to convert sugars into lactic acid.

Constructed of walk-in refrigerator panels, it is air conditioned rather than refrigerated. Most lactic acid ferments prefer a cooler room temp. The cave stays around the mid 60's.

Contrary to most modern industrial food preservation techniques, lacto fermentation doesn't kill all of microbial life during production. Instead, an environment is created to actually encourage the growth of certain types of bacteria, resulting in a broad spectrum of flavor, color and pro-biotic goodness.

As Alex continues to delve deeper into this world, its mysteries and fasciations challenge her and her customers to expand their notion of how “sauerkraut” and “pickles” can play a vital role in their diet.

Alex Hozven’s recipe for original cabbage sauerkraut :
1) Shred cabbage.
2) Weigh out 2% of the cabbage weight in sea salt.
3) Begin to work the salt into cabbage.
4) Let sit several hours. The cabbage will become dripping wet.
5) Pack into fermentation vessel.
6) Age anaerobically for six weeks.

Sandor Katz wrote “Wild Fermentation”, an exhaustively researched text on the art of the lacto fermentation. (He lives inTN.)

Post to Fermentation