Food Fermentation and Aging
Regan has been making sauerkraut lately. The reports of it as a digestive aid and immune builder outweighed the years of him being nauseated by the smell of it that he associates with childhood. Every few weeks he’ll chop up a cabbage with some carrots, lightly salt and place in a Ball jar, letting it sit to slowly ferment. He’ll eat a fork full with a meal each day and he’s still standing.
I was inspired by his fearless fermentation experiment and decided to try making yogurt. Using milk, a spoonful of Greek yogurt, a crock pot and a thermometer, I carefully monitored the temperature of the milk and yogurt starter for an evening, then let it sit overnight at a steady 110 degrees Fahrenheit. When we woke the next morning, we were greeted with a crock pot full of thick yogurt. I strained it, then prepped it in miniature Ball jars with blueberries and honey on the bottom for Regan to bring in his lunch. I eagerly anticipated his reaction to it and, since he’s kind and gentle about everything, when I asked how he enjoyed it he said, “It was so good! So much better than store-bought. Really smooth and creamy. But I kind of think it might have been what made me violently ill.”
So, I may or may not attempt making yogurt again but I’m still really fascinated with the process of food fermentation and aging. Even though I know essentially where food comes from I still have a disconnect from how it’s truly made, though I’m working to understand it all. I’ll probably never be one to attempt aging meats or cheeses because of my already poor track record with making nausea-inducing yogurt, but who knows? I feel like making some sour dough starter might be a safe project to get me out of my failure with fermentation so far. I’ll let you know how it goes.
What have your successes or failures in fermentation been?