Fermented Food Gathering at French Broad Food Co-op Oct. 5

Press release from Living Web Farms:

Sarah Archer of Serotonin Ferments in Asheville, NC offers an array of kimchi, sauerkraut and seasonal pickles to customers at local tailgate markets. “I base products on what is in season, so people can find cucumbers sometimes, and sometimes carrots or daikon. I’m also always experimenting,” she adds enthusiastically. This attitude toward fermented foods—one of creativity, experimentation, and fun—is the impetus for a Fermentation Show and Tell, hosted by Living Web Farms and the French Broad Food Co-op, in the Co-op’s upstairs Movement and Learning Center on October 5th from 6-7:30pm.

Archer will be present, with tasters of her regular products, plus a few funky experiments she has on deck. She also plans to bring an array of crocks and vessels to share with participants. “In the last couple of years, I have seen the market blossom for fermentation gadgets like different jars or lids. That’s great, because it shows how popular fermentation is becoming for flavor and health, but its also so important for people to realize how easy it is, and inexpensive.”

Meredith Leigh, avid fermenter of vegetables, and author of the forthcoming book “Pure Charcuterie” which focuses on the fermentation of meats, agrees. As a regular cooking educator, she finds that many people approach fermentation with trepidation, because they feel “intimidated by the process” or misled by the trendiness.

Meg Chamberlain, who owns and operates Fermenti Foods in Asheville, adds that with the many benefits of fermentation, “including nutritional value, cutting food waste, and preserving tradition, it is exciting to share with others how to handcraft their own fermented foods.” Fermenti will be on site at the event as well, demonstrating a brined vegetable ferment, and will have other projects to share.

While there will be several professionals on site to demo and share, the idea of the event is less of a class and more of an open forum. Perhaps you’re merely curious about fermented foods, and you want to meet some people, or you are a beginner and you want more ideas. Maybe you’re a total geek, and you have inventions in your kitchen that should be shared! No matter the level, the Show and Tell is meant to bring people together in a relaxed community way.

All of the professional participants so far plan to bring some interesting experiments, such as “beneficial molds, Japanese ferments, and lesser-known fermented foods,” says Leigh. She, Archer, and Chamberlain all plan to openly discuss fermentation failures, which, as Archer says, “are completely part of the adventure.”

In addition to the above-mentioned fermenters, Patryk Battle of Living Web Farms will be there, sharing fermented bread and fermented “weeds”, Sarah Yancey of Smiling Hara Tempeh, and Shanti Volpe of Shanti’s Elixirs will join the crew of headliners. With so many fermentation enthusiasts present, organizers hope to get people of all skill levels to come out, share their projects, successes, concerns or questions, and engage in a community of fellow fermenters. “The hope is that everyone will leave inspired and more connected”, says Leigh. Additonally, Fermenti Foods is organizing a Fermentation Festival for early November, 2017, and this Show and Tell could be the perfect preview.

The Show and Tell is open to the public, and participants are encouraged to bring their homemade ferments to share, plus any questions, stories or recipes. Attendance is free; donations are welcome.

To RSVP for Fermentation Show and Tell, visit: http://livingwebfarms.org/workshops/fermentation-show-and-tell/

About Edwin Arnaudin
Edwin Arnaudin is a staff writer for Mountain Xpress. He also reviews films for ashevillemovies.com and is a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association (SEFCA) and North Carolina Film Critics Association (NCFCA). Follow me @EdwinArnaudin

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