Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Fermented Foods

So, I was seeking more kim chee information, and I stumbled into an entire world of fermented foods.

It really tickles me when sudden new vistas of knowledge open up like that. It's as if there are hidden openings into spacious new plains tucked into the corridors of my life. It's pretty cool. (Or worlds in wardrobes. Yeah, I read C.S. Lewis at an impressionable age, too.)

I have not yet had a chance to read Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods or Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats -- and I may not -- but I am charmed that they exist.

What better antidote to excessive fear about germs in food than to deliberately cultivate some?

So there are my Amazon affiliate links, if you want to be entertained by another diversity in food theory. I was.

If you prefer to stick to a simple outline, Michael Pollan has you covered. In seven words: "Eat food. Mostly Plants. Not too much." Or in his somewhat expanded, simple and clear, slim and well-organized book Food Rules -- which covers what you need for $5.

We used to enjoy the little tray of pickles that came with our meal's at Nicholas' Restaurant in Portland. Thinking back, I bet those were naturally fermented rather than brined in vinegar. At first they seemed strange and sour, and they also seemed to meet a need for me.

I bet they were alive!