Fermented foods are most definitely in vogue. Be it kefir or simply sourdough! I have been minding my sourdough starter (Sabina) since Ballymaloe. She is used most weeks, and I hope my bread is getting better and better. It certainly lasts longer than the white yeast bread, which is due to the slow rise of the bread using the natural yeast.
I also lie other fermented liquids….. WINE!! But recently I have been swaying more towards natural wines. My first experience of this was tasting an orange wine while in the Cliff House Hotel. I really must put the sommelier on my Christmas Card list. He really is my bestest wine friend. Orange wine is made the way white wine use to be made. It results in a slightly cloudy looking liquid. But the taste. WOW. There is a combination of flavours – cherries, orange, spices, nuts, pears – that you just don’t get in other wines. Even better is the textures: there is tannin and grip like a red wine, but less weight and density. But until I win the lotto and can move to the South of France with a truckload of clay amphorae, I’ll have to stick to making other fermented products.
So now I’m onto Kombucha. It’s a type of fermented tea. It uses a SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast) to ferment the black tea. I got a “mother” from Hans and Gaby Wieland from The Organic Centre. They were demo’ing fermented foods at GROWfest. That’s the great thing about fermented foods- It’s all a bit under-the-counter!
So now I drink Kombucha in the morning with my porridge instead of half killing myself trying to down a shot of cider vinegar. And not only is it helping my gut, it’s also helping my joints. And as someone who firmly believes in proof, this just makes me feel better, and there really is no scientific proof that it does have health benefits. But as a probiotic drink that I can make myself, and thereby know exactly what goes into it, I think I’ll keep at it.