If you're looking for a new project (or three!) to tackle this year, fermented foods are where it's at. We're talking things like homemade kimchi, creamy Greek yogurt, and maybe even a bottle of mead or two. Why not?! With Real Food Fermentation by Alex Lewin as our guide for all things fermented, brined, and funky-fied, projects like these become totally doable.
• Who wrote it: Alex Lewin
• Who published it: Quarry Books
• Number of recipes: About 25 different fermented foods projects
• Recipes for right now: Sauerkraut, kimchi, yogurt, preserved lemons, mead, vinegar, and corned beef
• Other highlights: The whole endeavor of making fermented foods is wrapped up in a lot of mystery. Is it safe? Will it taste good? Why do it in the first place? Alex Lewin takes each question, each concern, each doubt and addresses them individually. He explains methods thoroughly and in easy to understand language. For someone like me who likes clearly-written instructions when tackling a big new project, this kind of detail and consideration is fantastic.
The recipes he provides serve as base templates. Within the recipe itself, he gives the simplest and most straight-forward procedure for creating each fermented food, and saves all the extraneous details, optional steps, and ingredient variations for side-bars and boxes. I particularly like his "Lab Notes" sections, which give handy tips, explain new concepts, and tell you what to watch out for during fermentation.
The other real strength of this book is all the step-by-step photos. Lewin shows how ingredients are prepped, how equipment is assembled, and how foods should look from one stage to the next. When working with unfamiliar foods with a lot of funky flavors and aromas, these kinds of visual sign posts are invaluable.
• Who would enjoy this book? Anyone curious about making their own fermented foods
Find the book at your local library, independent bookstore, or Amazon: Real Food Fermentation: Preserving Whole Fresh Food with Live Cultures in Your Home Kitchen by Alex Lewin
• Visit Alex Lewin's website: Feed Me Like You Mean It
Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us the product for testing and review purposes.
(Images: Emma Christensen)