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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.)