The fermented food trend
Whether yoghurt, kombucha, kimchi or good old sauerkraut - fermented foods are currently experiencing a revival.
There is virtually no culture in the world that does not ferment its food. Fine delicacies such as kimchi, miso and kombucha, which originated in Asia and quickly became “superfoods” here, find their regional counterparts in sauerkraut, bread and simple yoghurt. But no matter how exotic or old-fashioned they sound, all fermented foods have something in common. They have a longer shelf life, are very aromatic and have a lot up their sleeves in terms of health and digestibility.
1. YoghurtThe classic found in everyone’s fridge. If you want to ferment your own yoghurt, you are spoilt for choice. Adding different bacterial cultures to milk produces either mild yoghurt (as with most supermarket products), a tart, firmer yoghurt or even a probiotic product. All you need is a small amount of your favourite yoghurt as a “starter”, milk with the desired fat content and preserving jars. Place the milk-yoghurt mixture in the oven at 40 to 45 degrees overnight - and it's ready!
Kefir is a real “superfood”. The thick sour milk product supports the immune system and intestinal flora, provides protein, vitamins A, B and D, as well as folic acid and important minerals. The yoghurt alternative is made with cultures from the kefir fungus that gives it its name.
3. Sourdough bread
Especially in pandemic times, the classic sourdough bread experienced a real hype and was baked more often in private homes than it had been for a long time. A good sourdough starter is also probably the homemade ferment we encounter most often in everyday life. With the unique combination of yeast cultures and lactic acid bacteria, the dough is particularly aromatic and very digestible due to the long resting times. Besides, nothing beats the smell of freshly baked sourdough bread.
Recipe: Fried wild mushrooms and pine nuts on grilled sourdough bread.
We know it, we love it – sauerkraut. Very healthy and easy to make, the fermented white cabbage not only goes well as a side dish with all kinds of seasonal dishes, but also provides a lot of vitamin C, which comes in handy over winter. But be careful: if the sauerkraut is heated too much, the vitamins and lactic acid bacteria are destroyed.
5. Apple vinegar
Vinegar – or more precisely fermented apple cider – also finds a place in this list. Apple cider vinegar is considered a popular household remedy and is used for a wide variety of purposes. Our favourite use, however, is in recipes where the fruity vinegar is the star guest.
Recipe: cabbage with apple xider cinegar & chives.
Kimchi is more or less sauerkraut à la Korea. Here, however, Chinese cabbage is used instead of white cabbage and fermented with garlic, ginger, vegetables, soy and fish sauce. It tastes delicious and is easy to make yourself.
Recently, the Indonesian nutty-tasting alternative to (unseasoned) rather bland tofu has become more and more of a preferred substitute for meat. Tempeh is a protein bomb made from fermented soybeans that are “inoculated” with moulds. Its production dates back to the 16th century.
It is no surprise that the sensory description for miso is “umami”; Japanese for “delicious”. The vegetable paste is used in a wide variety of dishes and gives a full-bodied, savoury taste. The best-known representative: miso soup!
Kombucha has become a trendy drink in the recent past. However, the drink made from sweetened, fermented black tea and kombucha mushrooms has been known and loved for about two thousand years. Where exactly kombucha comes from is still not clear. Nevertheless, it has a long tradition in Japan, China and Russia.