|Author Sandor Ellix Katz with new book,
The Art of Fermentation
Katz is renowned as a fermentation experimentalist and author of comprehensive books on the subject. Volunteers grated cabbage and carrots so Katz could prepare more than a gallon of the whole food mixture for the ancient process of fermenting into kraut. The entire time I was taking notes about the history and benefits of fermented foods, I kept picturing my grandmother in the kitchen, adeptly making fresh slaw and sauerkraut. When I tasted the sample of radish kraut that Katz had brought along, I was fascinated by its bite and impressed by how easy it is to prepare and preserve our own foods.
“Bacteria are critical for our well-being,” exclaimed this food enthusiast who discussed how the changing composition of foods creates things like lactic acids in yogurt to aid our digestion of dairy. He went on to shared an entertaining narrative about fermentation. Katz noted that people’s fermentation of foods actually predates written history, so there is some air of mystery about it. Much had to do with mere survival as people needed to keep foods safely until the next growing season. He noted that safety, such as avoiding exposing foods to conditions that cause dangerous molding, is important. Yet, lessons about safe processing of food were typically handed down through the generations.
|Volunteer mother and daughter team, Trudy and Joan Monaco,
prepare cabbage and carrots for kraut-making demonstration