Wednesday, February 2, 2011

FERMENTATION FETISHIST




If you read the New Yorker you are probably familiar with their annual food issue.  This year they profiled a "fermentation fetishist" Sandor Katz, the author of two important books on the subject, "Wild Fermentation" and "The Revolution Will Not be Microwaved".   I read the article myself when it came out in November.  In it, Sandor talks about his experimental kitchen where he teaches fermentation seminars in the summer.  

To my great surprise, that kitchen is located in the basement of the farm in Tennessee where I worked for a week!  Its a pretty incredible place.  There are about 3 refrigerators filled with all kinds of sauerkraut and kimchi and an entire wall devoted to mead.  Sandor also has a great collection of naughty books (a sample above).  "The Sexual Politics of Meat. A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory" looks especially nasty.   Kenny and I borrowed "Wild Fermentation" and a copy of "Jewish Bread Making" to attempt a sourdough challah.  

I highly recommend the New Yorker article.  You can read a synopsis HERE.  In addition to learning new things you didn't know about fermentation and exploring some pretty wacky diet fads (like the cave man diet), you will get a pretty good sense of what the farm is like where I spent the week working.  If you don't like to read, the author, Journalist Birkhard Bilger talks with New Yorker Online Editor Blake Eskin about the glories of rot and fermentation below:



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