Book Review: The Art of Fermentation

By Ben Everard. Posted

Fermenting is the process of using microscopic bacteria and fungi to
change the chemical makeup of something – typically food.

If it were invented today, it would no-doubt be called biohacking, and Silicon Valley investors would be throwing huge amounts of money into it.

However, it was invented thousands of years ago, and predates not only the notion of venture capitalism, but the idea of money itself.

Sandor Katz is one of the most respected authorities on home fermentation, and in The Art of Fermentation, he goes through different types of ferments from around the world, looking at the science, process of performing them safely, their cultural importance, and the culinary applications.

This to me gives you all the knowledge you need to start experimenting with fermenting. You may choose to start with famous ferments such as bread and alcohol, but you could go a bit more off-piste.

Perhaps the most fascinating thing about this book for us is how it brings together a huge number of different traditional ferments from all over the world.

Every continent, bar Antarctica, is represented by a wide variety of foods. This is important, not just because it gives you options to choose from, but because it gives you lots of knowledge that you can blend together to make your own ferments.

Ancient peoples all over the world faced the same (or similar) problems when developing ferments, but they solved them in different ways, and this influenced the directions they took their ferments. By looking now at the different traditions, you can see which techniques work best for your circumstances.

If you only get one book about fermentation (and you really should get one, it’s a great way of creating flavour), this is the book to get.

Verdict: 10 out of 10

The bible of fermenting.

Details - $39.95

More features from HackSpace magazine magazine