I have been waiting for a food museum in America for years, and finally, The Museum of Food and Drink (MOFAD) recently opened in Brooklyn. Last month, I went to check it out. I also attended a free fermentation workshop called Kraut Mob when I went.
This is what a Kraut mob looks like-it involves a ton of chopping, grating, peeling, and most of all, massaging.
Fermentation is a chemical process where glucose breaks down anaerobically. According to the Cultures for Health, “Lactic acid is a natural preservative that inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria. Beyond preservation advantages, lacto-fermentation also increases or preserves the vitamin and enzyme levels, as well as digestibility, of the fermented food.” So, fermentation is pretty cool.
Kimchi, kombucha, sauerkraut, and pickled veggies are all products of fermentation. I made sauerkraut using green and red cabbages, scallions, carrots, ginger, and garlic. I also used several spices like Chinese Five Spice. Then, came the massaging. It took about 15 minutes and ten aching fingers to produce bubbles. When I squeezed the sauerkraut, liquid would come out, and that was when I knew I was done. The end result looked like this:
I found out that sauerkraut and avocado is a great combination!
So part of the fermentation process is making sure the brine site on top of the sauerkraut. This is how its supposed to look:
I, on the other hand, picked up a meat tenderizer drying in the dishwasher and tried to mash the sauerkraut to squeeze the brine out. I did this to all of my jars. And then my dad told me that everything in the dishwasher had not been washed yet. Basically, the meat tenderizer that had touched blood had been in all five of my sauerkraut jars. That was probably one of the most stupid mistakes of my life….sigh.
Anyway, here’s the instructions on how to make your own fermented creation:
Happy fermenting! Oh, and try not to make the same mistake I did 🙂
What do you put in your sauerkraut?