My Traveling Tales by Linda
"We must remember, rediscover, and reclaim our ancestors, however we can, and honor, protect, and perpetuate their gifts, including tangible ones such as seeds and fermentation processes. Cultural revival is necessary in order to maintain their great legacy to us. Keeping it alive is the ultimate in ancestor worship." — The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz
|Scenes from the 2015 Farm to Fermentation Festival held in Santa Rosa this past Saturday.|
|A couple of lovebirds pose for me in front of Red Horse Pizza from Sebastopol.|
After a few years of missing the Farm to Fermentation Festival
held in my neighboring city of Santa Rosa, California for the past few years, I finally managed to get the event on my calendar and purchase VIP tickets (which included access to the beer, wine and cider vendors) for this popular and casual bash which this year was held for the first time at the large Finley Community Center in order to accommodate the increasing number of enthusiastic attendees.
America's increasing awareness and love of fermented foods and beverages is something that is exciting to me. I have been extolling the virtues of fermented foods
for many years now, and it is great to see that the once nearly forgotten art is gaining in popularity, and people are fermenting all kinds of things in their home kitchens again, as they once did not so very long ago. I have written about how my own father
enjoyed stopping by his grandparents' house on his way home from school for a dish of homemade sauerkraut, which he says that he "would rather have than a dish of ice cream".
From Sandor Katz
, one of the world's leading proponents and authorities on the art and benefits of fermentation:
Fermentation makes foods more nutritious, as well as delicious. Microscopic organisms – our ancestors and allies – transform food and extend its usefulness. Fermentation is found throughout human cultures. Hundreds of medical and scientific studies confirm what folklore has always known: Fermented foods help people stay healthy.
Many of your favorite foods and drinks are probably fermented. For instance: Bread, Cheese, Wine, Beer, Mead, Cider, Chocolate, Coffee, Tea, Pickles, Sauerkraut, Kimchi, Salami, Miso, Tempeh, Soy Sauce, Vinegar, Yogurt, Kefir, Kombucha.
|Jeff Wilson of Bubbies® spent a great deal of time with us sharing info on large scale fermentation.|
and I happily wandered through the exhibition halls and tents, both of us sampling a huge array of fermented foods and chatting with the producer/vendors. The biggest surprise for me was just how many craft ciders are being produced. We live in what used to be prime apple-growing territory
, which sadly declined in popularity when imported apples from other countries and states caused the price to drop substantially and unfortunately put many apple growers out of business in Sonoma County. It is really nice to see these old orchards reviving with the increasing popularity of hard ciders which are truly delicious. Each cider maker is putting their own spin on their creations—from fruit and herbal additions, to the types of barrels that they are using for aging the cider.
|Angela Wooten of Taylor Maid Farms serves up some nitrogen draft tap cold-brewed coffee to Mark. I already had my quota of caffeine for the morning, but I did take a sip. |
Wow... absolutely delicious!
We managed to hang out and be entertained for almost the full six hours. The different array of products and knowledgeable people present was truly amazing. We also participated in a fermenting class unexpectedly, when seats became available. More about that with this week's recipe at the bottom of this post.
|Scott Heath and Ellen Cavalli of Tilted Shed Ciderworks. The Barred Rock Barrel-Aged Cider |
is aged in Tennessee Bourbon barrels. Yum!!
Along with cider, mead, which is made with honey, is where fermented beverages began in human history. In other words—it is ancient and growing in popularity. Our friend, Carly Verhey was representing for Heidrun Meadery
located in Point Reyes Station. Check out my visit to Heidrun by clicking here
|Kimchi is a traditional fermented Korean side dish made with vegetables and a variety of seasonings. Current research has shown that it has antiviral properties.|
|Aruna Lee of Volcano Kimchi—a San Francisco-based producer of quality handmade kimchi.|
We couldn't have asked for a better day, and there was just too much to fit into one afternoon with all the classes, producers to talk to, and samples to try. We will be going back next year for sure!
|Mark and I each came home with a jar of veggies to ferment from the class we attended. We are each trying out a different top that we bought at the festival. Check out the simple recipe below.|