WHY TO FERMENT?

Prepares and preserves produce

Fermentation extends the shelf life of the produce. In the process, the acidity decreases so that the harmful bacteria cannot work. Also, beneficial bacterial strains prevents the growth of harmful bacteria. The lactic acid bacteria can withstand freezing, but the beneficial bacteria are destroyed by heating. The fibers of the fermented produce survive heating.

Enriches nutritional value

Although good bacteria have many health benefits, getting them naturally in the diet is difficult today. People have been eating fermented foods for thousands of years, but today’s processed food is almost sterile and hardly gets any natural microbes. Fermentation also improves the vitamin and mineral content of foods. Different fermented foods have very different bacterial strains. Only foods that are not heated or heavily processed have live bacterial strains. Lactic acid bacteria can be found in miso, kimchi, tempeh, various fresh yoghurts, kefir products, kombucha and sauerkraut. Cheese, beer, wine or sourdough made from pasteurized milk do not contain beneficial bacteria.

Brings in new flavours

Microbes (bacteria, yeast, fungus, or a combination of these) break down the food molecules and creates a new taste through this process. For example, the lactic acids in fermented cabbage give the cabbage a new, unprecedented taste and texture. Lavender kombucha, where the fragrance previously was present only through the aroma, is incorporated into the bubbling flavour. In the best ferments, the original taste is not lost, it is only only enriches the produce. Umami is Japanese and means “pleasant, appetizing taste”. It is one of the five basic flavours, besides sweet, salty, sour and bitter. Umamis are found in fermented products, soy sauce, long-matured cheeses (parmesan), mushrooms, well-ripened tomatoes, unseasoned meat and sodium glutamate.

 

Susanna, Mirkka ja Elli / Nordkraut