It’s pretty hard to know where to start when talking about the specifics of Fermentation Fantasy Camp, so I’m going to break it down, very generally, by subject and share recipes for some of the things we made together there. Several of these are posts I’ve had in the works for a while, but it’s impossible not to learn from Sandor Katz, so you’ll benefit from the added knowledge I gained at FFC. Others are things I’d never made before, and those I’ve only been playing with since I returned. In both cases, I’m excited to share them with you over the coming weeks and months!
I’m starting with the grain ferments we tasted and worked on, because there were quite a few that I had never tried before that were super cool (stay tuned, gluten-free friends) and because right off the bat at the first meal, I enjoyed a genius fermented grain situation that I believe to be Sandor’s own brainstorm. This is now a part of my home cooking regimen.
Not including alcohols (because they get their own post), here is a list of the grain ferments we made or at least tasted over the course of the week at Sandor’s:
- Koji – Grains (in this case barley) inoculated with Aspergillus oryzae mold spores to make tasty things that smell great and can be used to ferment other things, such as miso (that will be another day), soy sauce and sake. We’ll make koji together very soon, here on Phickle!
- Koji Pickles – A totally new-to-me way to pickle! It’s pretty awesome and I’ll definitely be doing a lot of it in the coming years, and sharing more about it with you here in the near future.
- Injera – Ethiopian flatbread made from teff flour. A longtime Phickle fave!
- Sandor’s mixed bowl of fermenty grains – More coming soon on this genius idea!
- Nixtamalized corn – Corn that is boiled with an alkalinizing substance such as “Cal” or wood ash to basically make the hull come off more easily. This is used to make a variety of foods and beverages, including tamales (nix-TAMAL. Get it?) and chicha, the Andean corn beer.
- Nuka – Nuka is the Japanese word for rice bran. Making a nukadoko is making a pickling bed from rice bran. There are instructions for how to build a nukadoko in my upcoming book!
- Takuan* – This is probably my favorite thing that we tasted that I’d never made before. It’s been on my list since I saw it on Wild Fermentation, but after tasting it, I will definitely be making it this fall when the daikon comes in. It’s slightly sundried daikon packed into a rice bran mixture and left for 6 months to ferment. The flavor is dreamy, AND we got to go down to Sandor’s cellar to retrieve his giant crock of takuan.
- Idli/Dosai – Idli are the small rice and lentil patties that have always made me very confused about the existence of gluten-free bread. I’m sure some will disagree, but gluten-free bread is usually pretty gross, whereas idli are delicious and naturally gluten-free, with no weird gums and fillers as ingredients. Dosai are made with the same ingredients, they’re just made into crepes rather than patties after begin thinned with water.
- Sourdough Pancakes – Easy peasy use for that leftover starter.
- Buckwheat Bread – This incredibly simple, gluten-free bread is king to make some GF sandwich bread seekers very happy!
- Regular ol’ (delicious) sourdough bread– Bethany made this as a treat for us. We ate two loaves before lunch was served, topped with loads of fermented condiments, of course.
Any classmates reading, please feel free to correct me if I missed anything!
*Tasted only. Did not make.