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New textures and a delicious flavour with fermentation
From kimchi and kombucha to sauerkraut and fermented red cabbage, fermentation is a very popular method of preserving food and brings with it a unique aroma.
Despite fermentation being very trendy at the moment, the process in which bacteria, fungi or enzymes turn carbohydrates into acids has never really disappeared. For example, items such as beer, sourdough bread and salami are all common products of fermentation.
Today, fermentation is largely associated with the likes of tea, cabbage and vegetables. They are prepared by lactic acid fermentation, a specific form of fermentation. The point of these items is not so much that fermented food has a longer shelf life, but rather, that it is good for the human organism – and above all, it tastes delicious.
Fermentation is not only a traditional technique but is also a widespread technique. Sauerkraut, fermented red cabbage, and the beloved kimchi are all produced thanks to fermentation. Something all fermented foods have in common is their unique taste that can range from sour to slightly spicy; this flavour can be easily combined in a variety of ways. Besides the taste, the new textures and colours created by the fermentation process provide all the more reason to enjoy fermented foods.
It is very easy to make your own sour, fermented goods at home. For beginners, cabbage or other vegetables are a very good place to start. All you will need is some clean and sealable containers, salt, water, and of course the vegetable of your choice. The process is basically always the same: the vegetables are cleaned and then left in a brine at room temperature for a few days.
Afterwards, the vegetables can either be enjoyed directly or kept in a cool place until eaten. If making kimchi, add the typical paste to the cabbage and leave it to stand for an extra day at room temperature.
There are countless applications for foods preserved by lactic acid. Kimchi is very good in ramen, as a filling for dumplings, or in a rice dish. It also goes very well with fish and meat. Sauerkraut is ideal for savoury dishes with potatoes, in soups or on tarts, and can even be a tasty addition to a chocolate cake.
Like many foods, you can combine fermented vegetables with other items for a delicious result. For example, fermented carrots can make for a tasty salad, and some fermented red cabbage is an unusual sandwich ingredient. Another great thing about fermented vegetables is that they are vegan, raw and gluten-free, i.e. suitable for all to enjoy! It may take some time for you to adjust to the unusual taste, but shortly thereafter, you won’t be able to get enough of it.
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