How did it start?
I belong to people who still remember what life was like before the internet era, supermarkets and mass food production. Around the house was a garden where the most essential vegetables and fruits grew. Hens were running around, pigeons were flying, and rabbits were in cages. In one cellar, the shelves with preserves were up to the ceiling itself and in the other, the sand covered with potatoes, carrots and beets.
I also remember, as every year, parents with grandparents kissed a large wooden barrel of cabbage. It was necessary to order a slicer that was moving from house to house. In the basement a film was laid on the floor, on which shredded cabbage was falling. This cabbage was probably 100kg each time. Salted and salted sauerkraut was put into the barrel and grandma put on rubber boots, went into the barrel and kneaded the cabbage. Then, every few days, the grandmother went down to the basement and collected the foam from the surface of the cabbage so that it would not break. And we ate that cabbage until spring.
And probably it would end my adventure with fermentation and only from time to time I would eat pickled cucumbers or cabbage, but one day a colleague from work gave me a kombucha. I have known for a long time what it is, but before that I had no opportunity to try this drink. I began to become more and more interested in the fermentation process and learned about the importance of fermented food for the human body. I also experimented with various recipes and methods of pickling and fermentation all the time.
After a few years, I started to conduct workshops and teach people how to ferment food and why it is worth doing. It turned out that for the entire progress of civilization, we forgot about pickling and fermentation. That’s why I decided to remind old knowledge and show how simple and easy you can prepare your own fermented food and what advantages such food has for our health.
You do not need a recipe.
Sometimes at my workshop, discussing the rules, I say: take what you want, pour what you want and wait as much as you want. This is a simplification, but there is not much exaggeration. Because if, for example, apples are covered with salt and water, they will bite. If the same apples are covered with sugar and water, you will get vinegar or wine. Fermentation for me is more an art than science. And I also advise you to treat fermentation and pickling as a kind of art. Have fun and experiment with fermentation, because even if you do not follow the exact recipe it does not mean that something will fail. Sometimes, if you add more salt, besides that the silages will be more salty, they will also be harder and will stay fresh for longer.
Let the old knowledge return!
I hope that I managed to encourage you even a little bit to the adventure of fermentation. Pickling and fermenting are really simple, and even if sometimes something goes wrong (and, for example, it breaks down), it’s worth making friends with fermented food for longer. In addition to being healthy and good for our bodies, it opens up a whole range of new flavors, aromas and textures. You do not have to like everything, you may like some of them over time and I hope that you will be delighted at at least one type of fermented food. Ask your grandmothers and aunts what’s hot and what their recipes are. If you look for it, you will certainly find some original and maybe already forgotten recipes. I encourage you to search and rediscover old knowledge. You can also use my PDF guide. The recipes contained therein are so simple and universal that they allow the adventure with fermentation to begin, even for people who have never known about it before.
Make a Positive Ferment
I encourage everyone to sow a positive ferment and promote fermented food among family and friends.