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 a few years ago, in part because of my ambivalence about the end product of my work.
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 the beautiful, imperfect and far from sterile process that we call fermentation.
I am no purist: I eat in restaurants. I shop in grocery stores and try very unlocal ferments. I occasionally even enjoy a blueberry in March, but I try hard to make my home a welcome place for the best, local, unprocessed products because I honestly believe that they taste better and that eating this way means something for my community and for my body.
I also adore teaching, so teaching fermentation is my exact dream job. Join me for a workshop!
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. They are the ferment that got me started down this bubbly path. (I even wrote a book about Pickles, Krauts, Kimchis and Kvasses that you can buy anywhere you normally buy your books!)
Most importantly, I am actually fickle. Before I started fermenting, I never seemed to be able to maintain sustained interest in one topic. There are an enormous number of fermented foods and fermented food categories to explore and that keeps my interest-wanderlust in check. 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!
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!
I try to answer every question and comment! Questions on troubleshooting a particular ferment are more likely to be answered if you put them in the comments of the recipe in question, where others can benefit from your question. (I’d love to answer everyone always, but time doesn’t permit!)
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:
• So many more!
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