With everything from blueberries to beets ripening at WNC gardens and farms, it’s time to get busy preserving the bounty for the months to come.
Fermented foods have a variety of health benefits, including improved digestion and a stronger immune system . At a recent fermentation workshop at the Organic Growers Conference, Sandor Katz taught particpants how to make sauerkraut, his signature food for which he was nicknamed “Sandorkraut.”
The new club is aimed at creating a forum for local fermentation enthusiasts of all skill levels to exchange ideas and materials, experiment and gain new knowledge.
A tasting event hosted by Dynamite Roasting Co., will bring together two Honduran coffee purveyors with the locals who drink their harvests; Chelsea Wakstein leads a workshop on fermented condiments at Villagers; Firestorm Books and Coffee hosts a vegan pressure cooking demonstration; and ASAP is awarded a $45,000 grants to assist farmers and markets.
MANNA FoodBank will deliver its millionth weekend food pack to a local student; Table will explore the many Mexican moles at an upcoming dinner event; Medea’s Espresso & Juice Bar is offering a fermentation workshop; and an A-B Tech culinary arts graduate is advancing to a national-level competition.
Fiesta Latina spices up Pack Square Park; Villagers offers a fall vinegar workshop; Hops & Vines does a yeast and fermentation class; and Asheville’s French Quarter makes some big changes.
Feasting for FEAST fundraiser will help organizers educate more local youths on the wonders of fresh, homegrown veggies. Meanwhile, Hops & Vines is offering a cider making class, and Thirsty Monk, Table and Wicked Weed have planned specialty food and beer events.
Asheville-based fermentation educator and blogger Janelle Lucido-Conate is a firm believer that anyone with an interested mind and a jar can make fermented foods at home. Lucido-Conate recently joined Xpress in the test kitchen at Selina Naturally to share her method for making a very simple vegetable ferment: spicy pickled carrots.
For fermentation enthusiasts, the process is almost spiritual. Cultured foods “are the food of the people,” they say. “It belongs to all of us. It’s not just for foodies … or people who can afford to go out and buy raw, fermented foods at the store; it’s for all of us.”
Many of the area’s fermentation pioneers were no doubt inspired or influenced by the work of author and do-it-yourself-food activist Sandor Ellix Katz. His books — which include The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved: Inside America’s Underground Food Movements, Wild Fermentation and The Art of Fermentation — have helped spark the modern fermentation revival.