I’m presently in Detroit*, from whence I hail, visiting my family. Some ‘delphians head down the shore to escape the oppressiveness of the city in the summer. My escape is always to Michigan. When I can, I get across the state to the beautiful Northern regions, that rival or totally defeat the natural beauty of any place else I’ve ever been (eat your heart out, Big Sur, there’s no contest). This year, though, I’m sticking mostly close to my childhood home, working, spending time with my niece and enjoying my parents’ massive pine trees, shaded deck and wonderful swimming pool.
One of my favorite things to do while I’m in Detroit is to visit Eastern Market. It is a massive marketplace in the heart of downtown Detroit and on weekends and Tuesdays, it overflows with all manner of produce, flowers, things to eat and, most importantly, people to buy them. Sadly people aren’t always the most available commodity in the Motor City, but the crowds at the Market could easily make you forget that.
I went in search of the general market bustle and something fun to ferment. Instead of things to ferment, though, I found things that were already fermented, and I could not have been more excited. The Brinery is a fermented veggie vendor with maybe the best tagline in history (see the photo). They source the produce they sell at Eastern Market from within the city of Detroit, and they make some damn tasty products.
With myriad, rockin’ flavor combinations, witty names and all the good gut bugs you could ever want, my heart now belongs to The Brinery. Jake and I bought a golden beet kvass, a hakurei turnip kimchi and a packet o’ tempeh from the very friendly and informative Clayton (the awesomely titled “Head Briner”) and my little heart beats (beets?) with joy with every sip and bite we take. I’m pretty enamored with all three things we got, although there were many others I’ll definitely be seeking out on trips back to Detroit.
I feel so happy when I find out about businesses such as these, spreading the good bacteria and the love. The Brinery sells online, and at farmers’ markets, restaurants and stores throughout Michigan and in Chicago. I highly recommend seeking out their products. They have maximum flavor, and even when you’re not in your own, ferment-filled house, you can “stimulate your inner economy.” What are your favorite, local fermented foods businesses?
Here are some photos of Eastern Market and the surrounding area. Something was up with my camera and I didn’t notice it until we got home, unfortunately! I hope you’ll enjoy them anyway.