8.29.2008

Book Review: Wild Fermentation

Summary: looking for ways to prep and store food long-term, in the easiest way possible? Go get this book, now.

I often joke with Spouse “don’t ask me to cook anything with more than three ingredients... and yes, water counts as an ingredient.” It’s not that I’m a bad cook, I’m just a lazy cook (and probably one of the biggest reasons he insists on doing all the cooking).

In this book, the recipe for saurkraut consists of two, count ‘em, TWO ingredients: salt, and cabbage. Oooohhhh... I’m all over this book like white on rice, baby! Call the preacher, I’m ready to MARRY! (Wait, is marrying inanimate objects legal in this state yet?)

Chapters cover fermentation of the following:
  • Vegetables - think saurkraut, easy pickles, kimchi
  • Beans - all the different things you can do with soy and lentils
  • Dairy (and vegan alternatives) - yogurt, easy cheeses
  • Bread & Pancakes - fermenting grains for sourdough, etc.
  • Grain-porridges and beverages (soft and hard)
  • Read more at this link.
The biggest hurdle to the recipes in this book might be finding the jars or crocks that will assist in making these delightful goodies. Other than that, the author does an amazing job of making food fermentation an easily accessible, and immanently do-able process. The author also maintains a web site with further up-to-date information and resources that may not have made the final print.

Mixed within the book is some history and politics, but since it relates to the book's subject, it works. If you don’t care for these sorts of things, just skip the commentary and read the recipes, but your knowledge will be richer if you at least give the various commentaries a scan. If you're a pathological homophobe, don't bother, don't comment... and you may as well stop reading my blog while you're at it, too. Bless your heart.

Final word: This book is well worth the money, and I plan on starting my first fermented food - saurkraut - as soon as I get a container to start it in.

UPDATE: Found reasonably priced pickling crocks at Simply Natural.

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