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Food Fermentation and Aging

March 13, 2012

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?

8 Comments leave one →
  1. March 13, 2012 3:28 pm

    He probably had it coming.

    • Claire permalink
      March 13, 2012 6:16 pm

      Yeah he did. Every nauseating bite of it.

    • Claire permalink
      March 13, 2012 6:20 pm

      So I’ll be reading the entire Amazon sample tonight and will probably follow-up with buying the book. This book had me at the foreword. Thanks for the recommendation, Isaac.

  2. March 18, 2012 9:35 pm

    I’ve had decent success with beer, does that count? I’ve always wanted to try doing beef jerky. Alton Brown did an episode about it on Good Eats once.

    • Claire permalink
      March 19, 2012 3:35 pm

      Totally counts. And I can confirm your success with beer is better than decent. If you do beef jerky please let me know. We’ve tried it, but with mixed results.

  3. March 19, 2012 8:34 pm

    There’s no proof that it was the yogurt!

    • Claire permalink
      March 20, 2012 10:58 am

      Well, you are right, there wasn’t any proof so he decided to try it again (good sport). Same result the second time 🙁

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