As you may know, I’m a big fan of fermentation (my most recent experimentation has been with with sourdough bread)… and this book ‘The Art Of Fermentation’ is pretty much my bible. If you ever wanted to ferment anything, this book will show you how!
in the first 30 or so pages, Katz first of all takes us through the history, philosophy and benefits of fermentation – as always, an enjoyable read that shows a deep knowledge and experience with the subject matter, and without getting bogged down in too much science.
Then another 30 pages are devoted to the basic concepts, methods and equipment required – all very clearly explained – before moving on to specific techniques methods and recipes for hundreds of different kinds of ferments. The sections included are:
- Fruit/Sugar based alcoholic drinks (mead, wine etc)
- Vegetables (sauerkraut, kimchi etc)
- Sour tonic beverages (kombucha, ginger beer, kvass)
- Milk (yoghurt, kefir)
- Grains and tubers ( poridge, congee, sourdough bread)
- Grain based alcoholic drinks (beers)
- Mould cultures (tempeh, koji)
- Beans, nuts and seeds (miso, and seed or nut ‘cheeses’)
- Meat, eggs and fish (curing, fermented eggs)
In total you get around 300 pages, covering an astonishing array of fermented produce. Katx delves into the unusual, odd and niche alongside the commonplace, mixing science, folk tradition, recipes, quotes, food ethics, personal insights and even the occasional poem into a thoroughly readable and useful book.
He finishes with a section of ‘considerations for commercial enterprise’ and finally the ‘non-food applications of fermentation’ along with a glossary and resource section.
This is a very personal book by a ‘food loving back-to-the land generalist, who became obsessed by fermentation’. He humbly claims no expert status and claims not to possess ‘anything approaching encyclopedic knowledge’ – but this IS a superbly detailed book, written by an enthusiastic and very knowledgeable guide of all things fermented.
If you’re interested in improving your gut bacteria naturally, or you’re keen to rediscover the ancient culinary techniques of preparing and eating live food, I can’t recommend this book highly enough.
You can find it on Amazon, here: