Mastering Fermentation by Mary Karlin

updated May 2, 2019
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Like a bottle of unrefrigerated kombucha, the interest in making and preserving foods through fermentation is growing stronger everyday. And it’s no wonder: fermentation not only preserves seasonal bounty, it also creates healthier, tastier, and more interesting things to eat. Have you wanted to explore this ancient cooking technique, but maybe been a little wary? (We’re talking about bacteria here, after all!) Let Mary Karlin be your guide and you will discover how easy and fun fermentation can be.

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Quick Facts

Who wrote it: Mary Karlin

Who published it: 10 Speed Press

Number of recipes: More than 70

Recipes for right now: Sweet and Salty Pickled Vegetables; Apple Butter; Cured Olives; Soured Cornbread; Sprouted Corn Tortillas; Sweet Tomato-Jalapeño Salsa; Gravlax.

Other highlights: The truth is, most of the recipes in Mastering Fermentation could fall under the “recipes for right now” category. Summer’s produce is rolling in strong, and if you want to take full advantage, this is exactly the time to pick up a few fermentation tricks and techniques, such as the many ways to make fermented pickles. Or maybe you’ve been hearing about probiotic drinks such as kombucha and kefir, or you want to try your hand at your own root beer. Then this book has you covered.

But maybe you’ve already mastered pickles and kombucha. No worries! Ms. Karlin takes us boldly into the delicious but often mysterious world of cured meats (like sausage), cheeses, homemade tofu and soy sauce. Her dairy chapter is especially well developed with recipes for clotted cream, cultured butter, and yogurt, as well as fresh and aged cheeses. There are many fermented breads and sourdough recipes to make breads and crackers to go with those delicious cheeses as well.

Mastering Fermentation opens with chapters on Fermentation Basics and Equipment, Ingredients, and Troubleshooting. From there the chapters break into ingredients: Fermented Fruits and Vegetables; Legumes, Nuts, Seeds, and Aromatics; Fermented Dairy; Fermented Grains, Breads, and Flatbreads; Cured Meats and Fish; and Fermented Beverages. The book ends with dozens of recipes in the Cooking with Fermented Foods chapter as well as a comprehensive glossary, list of resources, bibliography, conversion chart, and index. It has a nice sturdy binding that lays flat when opened and a matte cover with no jacket.

Who would enjoy this book? Both beginners and those familiar with fermentation will find a lot here. Ms. Karlin manages to make the fermentation process simple while at the same time offering many unique variations on the tried and true. For instance, I can’t wait to try Smoked Sauerkraut; Sprouted Chickpea Hummus; Savory Walnut-Thyme Butter (made with coconut oil); or Plum-Raisin Mustard.

Find the book at your local library, independent bookstore, or Amazon: Mastering Fermentation by Mary Karlin

Visit the author’s website: Mary Karlin

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: Dana Velden)