Why Phickle? A few reasons. I live in Philly and I love Philly and it’s kind of rule here to start f sounds with a ph. Furthermore, lacto-fermented (as opposed to canned or vinegar) pickles are one of the easiest and most delicious things in the world to make. Most importantly, I am actually fickle. I am always on the lookout for a new project, and fermentation fits my wanderlust perfectly! There are an enormous number of fermented foods and fermented food categories to explore. This keeps my inner-Gemini very satisfied. The part of my brain that always needs to move on never seems to realize that I’m still under the same umbrella when I start fermenting something new!
Who am I? For many years, I worked in the food industry. Not the restaurant industry, but the dreaded Big Food. The lessons I learned there made me more dedicated to eating real foods and to making my food sources as local and unrefined as possible. I left that world over two years ago, in part because of my ambivalence about the end product of my work, and since then, I’ve devoted the vast majority of my free time (there isn’t a ton since I now work for myself) to the pursuit of good eats that I can process myself. I grow a pretty sizable container garden on my roof and balcony and in my city yard. I ferment whatever good veggies I can get my hands on, and I revel in this beautiful, imperfect and far from sterile process. I am no purist: I will occasionally eat in restaurants. I shop in grocery stores and try very unlocal ferments. I will occasionally even enjoy a blueberry in March. I love teaching whenever I can, so teaching fermentation is a dream experience for me.
Why blog? Although I am a total noob compared to those awesome hippies and immigrants who never lost the love, I love fermentation! To be honest, it absorbs most of my free time. I thought I should share my efforts with others who were starting out on the path to fermentation nirvana. I’ve been making simple ferments for a long time: ferments like sourdough and yogurt have been part of my homemade repertoire for many years. However, newer things, things I used to buy at the store, like kefir and kimchi have made cooking in my home even more fun, healthful and delicious!
I will admit to being a little evangelical about fermentation. I was once afraid, but I overcame my fear and fermentation has been a source of joy for me ever since. I hope it will transform your friendly little gut bacteria and your life, as it has mine!
Please feel free to e-mail me with any questions or concerns.
If you (think you) haven’t eaten ferments or aren’t sure if you like them, consider this list of just a small fraction of the foods that are fermented:
- Sourdough Bread
- Ginger Beer
- Traditional Pickles
- Traditional Chutneys
- Soy Sauce
- Milk Kefir
- Water Kefir
- So many more!
All photos and words are mine with rights reserved, unless otherwise noted!