Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Fermented Foods

This piece about fermented foods and their recently renewed popularity appeared in my RSS feed last week.  As a disclaimer, it’s not much of a column, really more of an ad for some dude named Andy’s slaw.  Also, it’s written by a chiropractor; you know, the semi-crazy sort who gives nutritional advice.  In this case, though, she’s probably right; I believe that cutting down on probiotics, as well as our new obsession with sterilizing our houses like operating rooms, is doing a great deal of harm to our immune systems.  Heck, it might be behind the recent surge in extreme food allergies.

At any rate, I was immediately reminded of a recent experience with fermented octopus:

Yeah, not so good.  However, my good friend Robert recently hooked me up with a great recipe for fermented peppers that promises to be quite tasty:

What you need
Fresh chilis, as much as you want.
Unprocessed sea salt
An airlock (Google has results for DIY and commercial mason-jar airlocks)

Grind up the chilis, add 8-15% salt by weight.  Put under airlock (Robert recommends using glass marbles to keep chilis below the liquid), and age three months.  Note that you can make a sweeter version of this by adding sugar, but it requires a starter.

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