Fermentation

Fermentation – an old method is being rediscovered

Already 6000 BC man used fermentation to keep vegetables, meat and fish durable. Thus fermentation is one of the most ancient methods of conservation without using external energy.

If you leave food for a while it changes its smell, structure and taste – microbes tamper it and normally it perishes. Fermentation is the regulation of this process in a controlled manner. Bacteria or fungi, so called "good organisms", decompose food into its parts as nutrients.

During the fermentation process food changes its taste in a positive way. Not only new and complex flavours are developed, but food also becomes more digestible. Well known fermented food products are sauerkraut, marinated salmon, yoghurt, coffee, tea, beer and the Corean traditional dish kimchi.

Today we rediscover native methods, appreciate homemade food and try to find a new variety of taste. Moreover fermentation is sustainable and resource-saving as it works in an absolutely natural manner without any external energy like cooling or heating.

Fermentation on a glimpse

  • Basically all vegetables can be fermented, but it's best to use fresh seasonal biological vegetables
  • Use non-refined salt
  • Keep food covered in a brine during the whole process of fermentation
  • Use jars without rubber rings during the fermentation process (ventilation) or ferment with rubber rings (WECKBormioli Rocco FidoLe Parfait) or silicone lids (WECK jar)
  • Release the lid minimum every two days for a short moment to ventilate
  • Store the jars in a dark place during the fermentation process

Fermentation starter kits (WECK and Le Parfait)

The fermentation starter kits are conceived to discover and try this old method to prepare food in a tasty and healthy way. The WECK set contains a 1590 ml (56.0 fl.oz) cylindrical jar, a 100 mm glass lid, a rubber ring, two WECK clamps, a silicone lid as alternative closure and a 60 mm WECK glass lid to weight the filling goods.

The Le Parfait sets (Super Terrine 750 ml/26.4 fl.oz and Super Terrine 1000 ml/35.2 fl.oz) contain a fired claystone to weight the filling goods.

Beyond that all sets include a booklet with useful tips, ideas and recipes developed by the famous international star chef Heiko Antoniewcz.

Fermentation – basic recipe

Layer cut food in a vessel.

Brine: boil 1000 ml (35.2 fl.oz) water with 20 g non iodized salt. Cover ingredients in jar completely with cooled down brine. Weigh down with fermentation stone. Close jars. Ventilate every two or three days.

Leave vessels three to four days at room temperature to start lactic acid fermentation by itself. After this let stand for at least three weeks at a temperature of minimum 15°C. Then the food is durable, but fermentation continues. There is no point when fermentation is "finished". This is up to your taste. As soon as it is okay for you consume put it into the fridge to slow down fermentation and keep the taste mostly constant.

Good and bad organisms

PLEASE NOTE!

It's important to use vegetables that are fresh and of best quality if possible. To avoid bad bacteria in fermented food the jars have to be cleaned carefully before use (boil for ten minutes in boiled water or sterilise in the oven).

  • good: lactic and acetic acid bacteria
  • bad: non-fermenting bacteria like pseudomonas, burkholderia, stenotrophomonas and acinetobacter
  • dangerous: pathogenic germs and microbes that can cause illnesses culminating in food intoxication

Recipes for the fermentation of vegetables

Fermentation is one of the most sustainable methods of conserving food, especially if you use seasonal food. You can reproduce easily the following recipes for the fermentation of vegetables.

Rhubarb in a WECK jar (1590 ml/56 fl.oz cylindrical jar)

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 rhubarb stalks
  • 550 ml water
  • 2-3 g salt
  • 1 twig tarragon
  • 30 ml rhubarb juice

Preparation:

Wash rhubarb and peel, cut into long pieces and put into a jar. Mix all remaining ingredients and fill up the jar. Allow to stand dark three days at 30°C, then store in a fridge at least for two weeks time.

Kohlrabi in a WECK jar (1590 ml/56.0 fl.oz cylindrical jar)

Ingredients:

  • 3 kohlrabis with green
  • 550 ml warm water
  • 27 g sugar
  • 20 g salt
  • 25 ml rice vinegar

Preparation:

Peel kohlrabi and cut into thin slices, blanch, and refresh in ice water. Dissolve sugar and salt in blanch water and add vinegar. Stack kohlrabis in a jar and cover the prepared liquid. Let rest for four days at room temperature, then ferment for three weeks in the fridge.

Kombucha in a Le Parfait jar (750 ml/26.4 fl.oz Super Terrine)

Ingredients:

  • 1 kombucha (kombuchas feel comfortable in big jars)
  • 50 ml starting liquid (if possible from former kombucha charging stock)
  • 7-8 g black tea
  • 550 ml water
  • 45 g sugar
  • 20 g muscovado sugar (cane sugar)

Preparation:

Boil water and let the tea brew. Stir sugar till it's dissolving itself. Leave to cool down to 40°C. Then fill into the jar. Place the kombucha with its flat side carefully onto the liquid. Cover the jar. Let it ferment at a room temperature (19 to 23°C) for eight to twelve days. It is drinkable as soon as it doesn't fizz when tossing the jar. The taste should balance with sweet-sour and refreshing flavours. Pass through a sieve and leave to cool down.

Salted tangerines in a WECK jar (1590 ml/56.0 fl.oz cylindrical jar)

Ingredients:

  • 12 tangarines (bio-mandarine because we use them completely with skin)
  • coarse seasalt
  • citrus/lemon thyme

Preparation:

Wash tangerines accurately and score them lenghtwise ten to twelve times. Fill the cuts with salt and lemon thyme. Place tangerines in a jar and cover them with hot water. Allow to stand for twelve days at room temperature. Then let ferment in a fridge for approximately six months more.