Fermented foods are a part of many traditional cultures. Prior to refrigeration there was really no other way to preserve food for winter use other than drying. OK, there are other traditional methods prior to the more modern methods of canning and freezing, such as cold storage and using salt, oil, sugar, alcohol or vinegar and each has its own specific uses, but fermentation actually enhances the bioavailability of the nutrients in the food, unlike the other methods.
A true fermented staple is cabbage. Many different cultures have their versions of fermented cabbage, or sauerkraut. In some parts of Germany, apples and/or juniper berries are added. A typical eastern European way is to use caraway seeds. In Korea, each family has their own version of kim chi. It is a spicy combination of chiles, garlic, radish or turnip, Asian cabbage such as Napa and personal touches. The kim chi is prepared in the fall for the entire year. The crocks of fermented kim chi are often buried in they yard in various places to store it more easily. In Latin America, there is a version called cortido and this is a combination of onions, carrots and cabbage.
As was discussed in the fermented drinks class, gut health is extremely important and fermented foods are a significant part of it. So it bears saying again....
"Beverages and foods that are cultured are full of live bacteria and yeasts that repopulate our guts and help to create the proper balance between the bad bacteria and yeasts and the good bacteria and yeasts. Our guts are FILLED with bacteria. We have 3-5 pounds of bacteria in our guts.....and yes, it does belong there. That is really amazing when you think about it. Bacteria are smaller than cells......and there are 3-5 pounds of them. We have more bacteria in our guts than we have cells in our bodies! So to say that they are important to our health and wellness is an understatement. And when you understand that the gut is the seat of our immune system, as well as our second brain, you see that gut health is of utmost importance for our wellness." ~ NKS
So I hope to see some of you at the next class. I am in the process of putting together a calendar for the year so if you miss a class, you will be able to attend another one. For those of you at a distance, my goal is to put together a video series so that you, too, can benefit from demonstration. I hope to see you soon! Be well!