We had some lovely meals together and met lots of great folks who are interested in the lore, health benefits, gustatory profile and funk of fermentation. The culminating event was a farm gathering with classes, talk, book signing, marketplace, food, beer and friends at Frog Belly Farm in Longmont. It was a perfect fall afternoon, the barn was cozy, the cabbages fat in the field, the piglets happily nursing. Good all around.
The Daily Camera just posted this great write up on our newest and trending product. We hope you get to try this delicacy before it’s gone. Extra thanks to Cindy Sutter and The Daily Camera.
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Here’s one from last year. A small story about the magic of fermentation and a Yummy recipe from Mara as well. Thanks Yoga Journal!
When Mara told me last January that she was buying the entire plum and cherry harvest from a young farmer she had met through the Rocky Mountain Farmer’s Union, I must admit, I was a tad unsure about buying all that fruit. We mostly make kraut, kimchi and various other pickled delights but the fermented fruits, popular throughout Asia as well as parts of Latin America, were a new exploration for us. In the very early days of our business (before we actually even knew it was a business) we had harvested wild plums from my family’s land in Lyons and made a batch of umeboshi to share with friends but this was a great deal more fruit, with more on the line. Flash forward to harvest and our crew stemming a zillion cherries, elephant heart plums arriving plump and sweet- such elegance and flavor, a process of balancing sweet, salty and tart coupled with adding the zing of live food. They were on their way to becoming something very tasty.
In September, we submitted to the Good Food Awards with these new products and heard back in November that we were finalists. The news had the wonderful rush of risk paying off but also of the tendril of our process, our creativity and our care out in the world.
This month we went to San Francisco to accept our award and to meet many other excellent food crafters from all over the country. We wore lipstick, we were humbled in the presence of gustatorial greats like Mark Bittman, Alice Waters and Ruth Reichl. We ate many wonderful things and drank our fair share too. We made new friends, worked a souk style Farmer’s Market on Saturday at the Ferry Building (which was so outrageously busy we had to hide in bed and watched Girls for a few hours to recover) and took in the foggy goodness of the city. Thank you to Sarah Weiner and the rest of the GFA crew for putting together such an cool gathering of food nerds, hats off to all the other winners and if you are local and want to taste the goods- Umeboshi: Salted Paonia Plums and Cheriboshi: Salted Paonia Cherries are now available at a Whole Foods and other independent grocers near you.
Fermented foods are making a tasty new splash as “good-for-you-foods”–although our grandparents knew it all along. By Mary Lynn Bruny
RECIPES FOR FERMENTING
Red Rice Make this recipe once, and I promise you, your family will ask for more. My daughter, Kailee, would never let a beet near her lips in any other way! Ingredients Butter or olive oil, to taste 1 jar Ozuké the best pickled things Beets, Dulse & Kale 3-4 cups rice, cooked 1 teaspoon garlic (or to taste), minced Toasted sesame oil Optional: sprouts, kale, fried eggs Directions Put butter or olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add one full jar Beets, Dulse & Kale. Sizzle for a bit, then add cooked rice. Stir over medium heat until everything mixes together. Add minced garlic and drizzle with toasted sesame oil. We serve this rice with a fried egg on top with sprouts and baby kale on the side. You can always snazz this up with another kind of protein and call it dinner. —Mara King, Esoteric Food Company
The Power of Fermented Foods.
About a year ago my partner Mara and I started a company that makes cultured vegetables. No, not beets and carrots that regularly attend the opera, but live, raw, probiotic, naturally fermented veggies.
We started out just making these goodies for our families and friends and nobody could get enough. It turns out that many people crave the zingy buzz of live food and that lacto-fermented foods, that used to be staple in many places in the world, are making a comeback.
Fermenting is an age-old way to preserve food.
It was a way to use all the access produce from the summer and keep eating it all year round. This in itself is a great process to connect to us to seasonality and keep the strength of the food intact.
Fermentation also makes food easier to digest, and creates new nutrients such as B vitamins—folic acid, niacin, riboflavin, thiamin and biotin.
Some ferments have antioxidants principles and also create omega-3 fatty acids- which we know are key to a healthy immune system.
Basically, fermented foods help supply your digestive tract with cultures that are necessary to break down and assimilate nutrients. These cultures, lactobacilli chief among them, are like little invisible friends that help us stay healthy and happy through the ups and downs of the year.
If you are interested in experimenting we recommend starting with simple sauerkraut and then expand from there.
This is great activity to do with kids (or your dog) as it is a bit of funky food science experiment.
Cover this combination and leave it in a cool but not cold space (ideally 65 to 70 degrees) for about 3 days. You may like it stronger, in which case you could let it go for a few more days.
When you are satisfied with the taste, transfer to cold storage, where it will last for up to 6 months.
Now you can enjoy the benefits of your own homemade culture—monocle and all.
Why Should You Eat Cultured Foods?
Here are a few pointers:
- Fermenting foods is an age old way to preserve food. It was a way to use all the access produce from the summer and keep eating it all year round. This in itself is a great process to connect to seasonality and keep the strength of the food in tact.
- In addition to preservation, fermentation also makes food easier to digest, creates new nutrients such a b vitamins, folic acid, niacin, riboflavin, thiamin and biotin. Some ferments have antioxidants principles and also create omega-3 fatty acids- which we know are key to a healthy immune system.
Basically, fermented foods help supply your digestive tract with cultures that are necessary to break down and assimilate nutrients. Our Ozuké all contain Lactobacilli and that is what makes them not only food but good medicine too.