Return of the Fermented Foods Series!

Bowl of tomatoes  that areready to become Fermented Foods!
Tomatoes – Ready to become Fermented Foods!

Back in 2018 I started a new blog series about fermented foods: foods where non-alcoholic microbial fermentation is used at some point in their preparation. In a mere 4 months I posted several articles on this topic…and then stopped. Despite this, these articles (especially the “Taking the Mystery Out Of Brine” and my “Food Fermentation: The Good, The Bad & The Infectious” posts) are in the top 10% most popular posts on my site.

So what happened to the fermented food series? Why have there been no posts in nearly 3 years?

The answer: Life and back luck.

My fermented foods series focused on foods my wife and I had grown at home. 2019 ended up being one of the worst growing season in a century, which saw our garden flooded and then the few things that survived the flood ended up dying of fungal disease. 2020 saw the second worst growing season in a century, but this time because of drought. And 2020 also saw COVID-19. As some of you know, I’m a microbiologist and immunologist by profession, and like many of my peers, I quickly converted my laboratory into a COVID research centre.

mother goats and their kids in the pasture.
Our Nubian Goats: Ada (far left) and Grace (far right) and their four kids.

But things are looking better – only half way through summer and we’ve harvested a record crop. COVID is still a major issue, but at least locally, things are going in the right direction. And we’ve made a few interesting additions to our farm that will feature in some upcoming posts: Ada (named after the mathematician Ada Lovelace) and Grace (named after the actress Grace Kelly). So it’s clearly time to restart the series!

Coming Soon to the Fermented Foods Series

Homemade cheese, made from fermented goats milk.

As you may have guessed, fermented milk products will be a focus of some upcoming posts. I also have a three part series on vinegar nearly completed. And, come fall, there should some vegetables in need of some microbial love.

As with previous entries in this series, I’ll be looking at how to make these foods, at the underlying microbiology, and at opportunities to tie the microbiology back into beer brewing.

The first two posts in the series should be up later this week. The first will be on one of my favorite microbiology topics – yoghurt fermentation (yogurt for my American friends). The second will be on making yoghurt at home.

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