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The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods
By Sandor Ellix Katz
Review by Jeanne Elpel
Why are we so afraid of microbes? The French have used live cultures to create delectable cheeses, wines and breads for centuries. The Japanese have used them for healthful soups and drinks. Katz demystifies live-cultures in his book Wild Fermentation. His approach is organized, well researched and an interesting read. Most Americans, myself included, steer clear of consuming ferments and microbes. Katz removed my fears of live-cultures and generated enthusiasm by providing all sorts of healthful reasons why we should be partaking of live-cultured foods. Wild Fermentation teaches a variety of techniques and projects for enlivening food and drink. I look forward to a whole new culinary field, an adventure in tastes and textures.
Learn how to make kefir, kimchi, yogurt, cheese, miso, sourdough, sauerkraut, sour beets, beer, wine, vinegar, kombucha and much more. Brewing is included but it is not a main focus of this book. Katz teaches you how to get cultures started, where to get certain cultures, and how to keep them going. He likes 'food recycling' so save those pineapple peels for making pineapple vinegar. Wild Fermentation includes numerous recipes for using and enjoying your new microbe friends, as well as, suggestions for using live-culture by-products such as whey. Chelsea Green Publishing Co. 2003. ISBN: # 978-1931498234. 187 pages.
Note: Country Living by Carla Emery is a good cross-reference book because she discusses making cheese, yogurt, wine, vinegar, sourdough and more. Personally, I like to visit several sources and compare notes when undertaking a new and foreign food project.