I’m all in a ferment thinking about the simple process of fermentation.
To ferment – also read agitation; unrest; excitement; commotion; tumult.
Fermentation is a group of living micro organisms (yeasts, molds, and certain bacterias) that can create wonderful exciting food.
A sourdough culture (a fermentation of flour and water) is just one example of fermenting, and the one doughies have experience with, but its really interesting when you start to think about other fermentation cultures used across the breadth of food stuffs;
- Cheese – fermented by live cultures to transform milk, followed by a whole process of coagulation, pressing, and salting of the cheese
- Yogurt – fermented by live cultures to transform milk into yogurt.
- Fermented Vegetables – pretty much any vegetable can be fermented and stored.
- Beer & Wine – a fermentation of grains and hops (beer is sometimes referred to as liquid bread) – wine is traditionally a fermentation of grape juice, but the process can be used on anything from parsnips to rose-hips.
- Milk & Water kefir – milk and water transformed by a culture of kefir grains into pro biotic drinks
- Kombucha – a fermented tea
- Tofu – fermented soy milk transformed into tofu
If you look at the list, all these live cultures add something to these food stuffs – notably taste, digestibility and longevity. The same is true of sourdough culture and what happens when it leavens a piece of dough.
Fermentation – go get some taste bud commotion.