What is Ferment?
Certainly not complicated, The only barrier to understanding is an over estimation of its complexity.
All we are doing is facilitating the growth of a culture. Providing the right environment and resources, then giving it sufficient time to thrive.
The word culture is used because it is a direct parallel to any other conceivable culture. Human animal or mineral, The only difference being size and intricacy.
Through the process of fermentation we are allowing friendly bacteria and yeasts to culture the food, when ingested these probiotics populate our intestines and improve our overall gut health.
The vanilla ice cream of ferments, not to be underestimated, with an infinite number of variations.
Factors at play :
Salinity (% of salt to water)
Your standard process is to liberate the cabbage of its outer leaves then cut fine (around 2mm).
Salt it to precisely 2% of cut weight. Salt will draw moisture from the leaves. Bash it senseless with a kraut mallet (to aid the breaking down of cell walls and produce more water forming a brine). Squash under a weight so none of the leaves protrude the water.
Leave it to consider its future!
If you have not been to South Korea it is hard to comprehend the significance of this fermented spicy cabbage concoction.
The Koreans equivalent of meat and two veg. Served on everything, with everything. Every locality has its own variation and preference.
Its fundamentals are chilly, ginger, garlic and Korean red pepper flakes (Gochugaru고추가루)
We make ours vegan but its not uncommon to see shrimp paste, anchovies and even oysters on an ingredient list.
A sour tonic beverage made using a mushroom like colony of bacteria and yeast, similar to a mother of vinegar. The kombucha SCOBY lives off sugar and caffeine (tea of any variety as long as it is in fact tea).
There is not a significant amount of sugar in the drink when it is finished as all the bacteria have eaten it.