Its a good question: why would you make sauerkraut, kimchee, miso or traditional pickles at home? Simply put, because eating live fermented foods keeps us healthy! Foods that have probiotics promote diversity among microbial cultures in our bodies. Another reason fermentation is so cool is because it is the opposite of homogenization & uniformity. Think about it: eating food that has live wild cultures is very different than food that has been sterilized & pasteurized. Another reason to ferment at home is because it is easy! And lastly, fermenting is ancient and -- complementing the goals of the Slow Food movement -- is a counterweight to the rise of fast food and fast life & it continues local food traditions.
why ferment using a handcrafted crock?
I truly believe that the best tool to create handcrafted slow fermented food is to use a handcrafted fermentation crock. I make my crocks by hand on the potters wheel in small batches. You can learn all about the process of crock-making on Pinterest. My crocks are 7″ tall x 7″ wide and they hold close to one gallon (3.5 quarts). Each crock has a lid that fits inside to weight down the vegetables and hold them under water, so they ferment. They are microwave & dishwasher friendly and completely food safe (of course). My crocks also have various designs & colors. Many of them state ’ferment’ on the front & ‘foment’ on the back, both created using vintage letterpress stamps. This is to remind you to foment health & diversity!
Learn how to use my crocks by clicking on the instructions link above and get your basic sauerkraut recipe from Sandor Katz, the guru of fermenting. To purchase your very own crock, click the shop link above.
my crocks’ 15 minutes of fame!
I was so humbled & excited that Sandor Katz, author of ‘Wild Fermentation‘ and my personal fermenting guru, included a giant color photo of a crock I gave him in his new book ‘The Art of Fermentation’. The foreword to the book, written by Michael Pollan, gives a good intro: ‘To ferment your own food is to lodge an eloquent protest against the homogenization of flavors and food experiences now rolling like a great, undifferentiated lawn across the globe. It is also a declaration of independence from an economy that would much prefer we were all passive consumers of its commodities, rather than creators of unique products expressive of ourselves and the places where we live.’ I believe that good handmade, slowly-made sauerkraut using good ingredients should be created in an equally high-quality, artisan-crafted fermenting crock. So, I began creating these crocks below, some stating ‘ferment’ and ‘foment’ on opposing side.