Fermented Foods

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Many cultures have historically fermented foods by burying them underground, producing a rotted, yet edible delicacy. 

The Chinese buried eggs; Islandic communities interred shark meat in the sand; Scandinavians fermented fish in the ground, along with cheese and a traditional liquor; the Scottish buried kegs of butter in peat bogs, slowly fermenting it for seven years before eating it; the Inuit people still bury whale and seagull meat.

There is a lot of ancestral wisdom in this, as fermentation is a way of preserving foods naturally as well as increasing their nutritional value considerably.  

Dr Weston Price found they are universally present (and consumed daily) in all the healthy peoples he studied, throughout the world.

Sally Fallon on Fermented Foods

Sally Fallon, author of 'Nourishing Traditions", talks about the great benefits of fermented foods.

Fermented Foods and Beverages

Weston A. Price Foundation Chapter Leader and The Healthy Home Economist Sarah Pope discusses the process of traditionally fermenting foods and beverages and the health benefits consumption of these foods confers.
With some whey starter, you can make all sorts of fermented foods.  
This video shows why and how, and includes recepies for lacto-fermented Salsa & Ginger Ale

Base for Cultured Sodas/Fizzy Drinks

Ever wondered why fizzy drinks are so popular, despite being so unhealthy?
Their typical sweet & sour, fizzy taste is the signature of fermented (probiotic) drinks, which our bodies probably crave because we have some ancestral memory of this being very healthy for us.
This video explains how to create a ginger-root base for these drinks (another is to use whey, see below).

Part 2

After one week we have a basic soda culture, which can be used to make any kind of healthy fizzy drinks (just add syrups of any fruit that is being harvested at the time.

Pickled Cabbage & Beet Kvass from Eastern Europe

How to make Pickled Cabbage (sauerkraut)
Here are step by step instructions of how to make pickled cabbage, 
a traditional (health) food from Eastern Europe. 
Staple of the Eastern European cousine, pickled cabbage was used as a base for soups, 
stews, and salads during the winter when vitamins in food were scarse. 
Super high in Vitamins A,C,B6, and K, pickled cabbage is a great way to store 

Beet kvass is a traditional tonic popular in eastern Europe and Russia 
where beets are lacto- fermented using some whey to produce a very nourishing beverage.
Beets and beet kvass are also an excellent source of folate, 
a nutrient that is increased through the power of fermentation.

Mango & Lemon Pickles from India

There's a great indian tradition of pickles which also makes use of fermentation 
to bring out the flavor and nutritional properties of the foods.

In the Pacific Islands

In the Pacific Islands, where a warm, humid climate causes rapid food spoilage, native communities have preserved fruit in fermentation pits for two millennia. 

The chambers are dug in well-drained locations and lined with banana leaves as a protective barrier against the soil.    The pits were especially useful for accruing surplus food for ceremonies and natural catastrophes. 

If a hurricane were to take down a community’s fruit trees, local people would quickly harvest and store the fruit to prevent spoilage. 

So important were storage pits in Fiji that before a man could propose to a woman, her parents would inspect his storage pits to make sure he was good marriage material.

The Science of Fermented Foods

The first part is useful, but if you want to make much better, probiotic ginger beer, 
see first videos..

Pickling, also known as brining or corning is the process of preserving food by anaerobic fermentation in brine (a solution of salt in water) to produce lactic acid, or marinating and storing it in an acid solution, usually vinegar (acetic acid). 

The resulting food is called a pickle

This procedure gives the food a salty or sour taste. In South Asia, edible oils are used as the pickling medium with vinegar.

Another distinguishing characteristic is a pH less than 4.6, which is sufficient to kill most bacteria. 

Pickling can preserve perishable foods for months.   Antimicrobial herbs and spices, such as mustard seedgarliccinnamon or cloves, are often added.

 If the food contains sufficient moisture, a pickling brine may be produced simply by adding dry salt. 

For example, sauerkraut and Korean kimchi are produced by salting the vegetables to draw out excess water. 

Natural fermentation at room temperature, by lactic acid bacteria, produces the required acidity. 

Other pickles are made by placing vegetables in vinegar.

 Unlike the canning process, pickling (which includes fermentation) does not require that the food be completely sterile before it is sealed. 

The acidity or salinity of the solution, the temperature of fermentation, and the exclusion of oxygen determine which microorganisms dominate, and determine the flavor of the end product.

When both salt concentration and temperature are low, Leuconostoc mesenteroides dominates, producing a mix of acids, alcohol, and aroma compounds. 

At higher temperatures Lactobacillus plantarum dominates, which produces primarily lactic acid. 

Many pickles start with Leuconostoc, and change to Lactobacilluswith higher acidity.

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Well-referenced details on the history of food preservation.  6 Nov 2017, 23:38 PermIntegral