Aug 24, 2008

culture & ferment

I just took a fermentation workshop with Sandor Katz, food activist and wild fermenation fetishist.

I am interested for a couple of reasons, the first of which is flavor: many of my favorite foods (miso! pickles!) are fermented. AND THEN, all the emphasis on fresh, local foods doesn't make much sense without preservation techniques. Without them, when the C.S.A. and home garden seasons are over, it's back to wilted, airplane-shipped produce from greenhouses far away.

Canning seems a bit challenging to me, but fermentation is easy—low tech and without dangers. And really tasty. And really good for you.

The workshop was a lovely afternoon spent with a nice group of people on a beautiful farm. The bonus was to learn that Sandor is queer and an AIDS activist, and has lived (healthily) with HIV since the 80s. (My first tipoff was the book dedication to an ACT UP comrade.) He lives in a queer intentional community in Tennessee.

It's funny how people become known for one thing, yet we all turn out to be as three dimensional and multi-colored as a bucket of freshly chopped veggies. This picture shows our group's "bruiser" releasing the juices of our veggies by squeezing them. Those very veggies are fermenting right now, in their own juices, in my basement.

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