|Making grape soda... or possibly wine|
Fermentation is a natural preservation method. The idea is to control the growth of bacteria with certain cultures, and sometimes the addition of salt, to promote the good stuff and create an inhospitable environment for the bad stuff. In a dark cabinet of my cool pantry (OK, just a corner of the garage) several jars of my homemade sauerkraut lasted for several months without any problems; no refrigeration needed! Kombucha will keep, tightly sealed in a cool dark place, for months. And fresh salsa, which normally would need to be used within a few days, will last for a month or two after 3 days of fermentation! Unlike canning or freezing, fermentation preserves food while enhancing its nutritional profile.
|Refreshing, healing Beet Kvass|
Sometimes fermentation changes the flavor or consistency of foods, or creates carbonation or alcohol, and generally fermentation makes things more digestible and nutritionally accessible. It's amazing to watch a jar of milk thicken overnight into kefir. How does it do that? Twice a day I stir my gallon of soda, and suddenly it bubbles ferociously, letting me know it's alive and ready for bottling. It's so exciting, like some kind of hybrid between a garden and a laboratory.
|Honey Wine ready for bottling|
|From left: Honey Wine, Kombucha, Rootbeer|