For as long as we have walked the earth, man has been searching for ways to preserve food. We used to rely heavily on processes like brining, pickling, and fermenting. Techniques that we have strayed from with modern food prep technology like refrigeration, freezing, and chemical food preservatives. Luckily for us, those ancient techniques are making a comeback.
There is a wealth of knowledge coming from one study after another about the health benefits of fermentation. We now know the positive effect fermented foods have on gut health and the vital role it plays in overall health. Good gut health has extreme influence over your immune system, serotonin production, and energy levels.
Spiro and Brine is doing great things in the fermented food space. They are a CT based company owned and operated by Emma and Alex Markowitz. Emma has been fermenting foods for over 6 years and periodically teaching. Spiro and Brine has been open for 6 months now and is gaining a loyal following.
Last night we had a chance to attend a “how to” demo Spiro and Brine put on. Emma taught us how to ferment kombucha, kvass, and sauerkraut. Best of all, we got to sample and take home some starters.
Kombucha tea is a fermented tea that is becoming more and more popular. It is now being sold in grocery stores and not just specialty markets. Kombucha can be flavored with just about anything and like all fermented foods, it has amazing health benefits. I love Kampuchea, but at $4.00 for a 16 oz bottle in the store…I occasionally love Kombucha. So when I heard about a "How To" I was all in. Emma taught us how to make Kombucha from a SCOBY which is a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast. A SCOBY has an appearance that the average person probably cannot appreciate, but I can imagine that hard core fermentors feel about their SCOBY like most people feel about their dogs. “My SCOBY is beautiful, it’s the best SCOBY in the world, my SCOBY can do no wrong.” For the rest of us, we can appreciate what the SCOBY can produce. We sampled 5 or so flavors that Emma made. My favorites were apple cinnamon and jalapeño grapefruit.
We also learned how to make beet kvass and sauerkraut. It is good to know you can easily make your own sauerkraut from locally grown organic cabbage, but I will continue to buy mine from Spiro and Brine. The beet kvass which is fermented beet juice was really good. It had a rich earthy beet flavor and a deep purple color. The color lets you know that it is loaded with nutrients. Food to me always seems to taste better when I know how good it is for me.
The event was held at the CLICK cooperative kitchen. CLICK stands for commercially licensed cooperative kitchen, Inc. It is a great idea, and if you are looking to use a commercial kitchen, this would be a great place to look into. They are very clean and reasonably priced.
There were varying levels of fermentation knowledge among the attendees, but everyone was very interested and had great questions. It was an overall great experience and I would do it again. If you missed it, keep and eye on our food events page for more events like this and hopefully Spiro and Brine will do another demo soon.
Buy Local, Eat Healthy,
Live Fit CT!
To see pictures from the event please check out our facebook page