If you follow my blog then you know I have a special affinity toward fermented foods. I did a three part series: What Are Fermented Foods? My absolute go-to source for making my own fermented vegetables has been the cookbook Real Food Fermentation by Alex Lewin. I learned better techniques from this cookbook than I did from Nourishing Traditions! I even shared Alex’s method for fermenting vegetables in my post on that topic before I even knew him! Alex Lewin’s cookbook provides very simple and step by step instructions with beautiful photos on how to make all kinds of fermented foods.
Luckily, I was recently able to do an interview with the author which I can now share with you! Hopefully it will help you get started. I am also happy to share that I am doing a giveaway of 2 COPIES of this book to 2 lucky readers! Alex will also be monitoring the comments on the blog today and if you have any questions at all, please post them and he will answer them! You couldn’t find the better time to take the plunge with fermenting!
This giveaway is a part of a Blog Tour – meaning that today you are visiting my blog and tomorrow you’ll want to head on over to www.honesttogoodnessliving.com for her post and giveaway. The next day there will be another blog…and so on!
Now, don’t forget to read through to the bottom and then enter via the Rafflecopter for your chance to WIN 1 of 2 Real Food Fermentation books that I am giving away!
What is the name of your book, including subtitle?
My book is entitled Real Food Fermentation: Preserving Whole Fresh Food with Live Cultures in Your Home Kitchen.
“Real Food” is for me the opposite of “phony food”. The world is overrun with phony food: mass-produced processed stuff that resembles traditional food, but is quite different when you really look at it. Phony food is made with chemicals instead of care and time, and can hurt our bodies in subtle and not-so-subtle ways. It is time to get back to real food.
“In Your Home Kitchen”, because my recipes are designed to be easy for home cooks. The recipes don’t require unusual equipment or advanced skills. Most of what you need is already in your kitchen, and the rest is easy to find and is inexpensive.
How long have you been fermenting?
When I first tasted kimchi, I was fascinated by it, because I love spicy food and garlicky food, and there’s nothing quite like kimchi in the typical American diet. I started making kimchi around 2004 or 2005. I found a recipe and followed it pretty closely–this much vegetable, this much salt, brine it for this long, etc. It wasn’t until a couple of years later, probably 2006, that I read Sandor Ellix Katz’s groundbreaking book, Wild Fermentation, and started to understand a bit about how fermentation works. Gradually I developed my own fermenting habits and tastes. Eventually I started doing demos, leading workshops, and teaching classes.
What makes your book different from other books on fermenting? Who would enjoy or benefit most from this book?
Real Food Fermentation is the best-looking fermentation book out there. When I say this, I am not blowing my own horn, since I can’t take credit for the book’s beauty; this credit belongs to the book’s designer, photographer, and publisher! (Thanks Regina, Glenn, and Quarry!) So if you like delicious-looking food books, this is a good one.
The pictures, besides being pretty, make the recipes easy to follow.
Because of this, I think my book is ideal for first-time fermenters; for folks who are not always confident in the kitchen; and for people who are visual learners, who like seeing something in addition to reading about it.
What are some good tips for a beginner?
Here are my tips:
- Do it now! Don’t wait until later. Don’t overthink it. Don’t get fancy. Buy a cabbage, find some jars (old food jars will do), and make some sauerkraut today.
- On a related note: let sauerkraut be your first fermenting project, even if you think you don’t like sauerkraut. You may be surprised. And sauerkraut is easy to get right, so it’s a confidence-builder.
- Keep it simple. Just make the plain version. Once you get a feel for it, you can start getting fancy.
- Share the love. Don’t be shy with your fermented foods. Even if they were easy to make, most people don’t make them. So next time you’re going to someone’s house for dinner, instead of bringing yet another bottle of wine, bring some of your home made sauerkraut!
- Be creative about serving. Try putting sauerkraut in soups and stews, on sandwiches, on a pizza, as a side, in your eggs, in your Bloody Mary…
When and where will your book be available?
My book is available now, in many stores, including many independent book and craft stores and all the usual online suspects. Right now you can order it through Amazon on sale for $14.73 – saving about $10 off the retail price of $24.99. Also, check your local independent book store and please consider buying my book from them, or having them order it for you if they don’t have it in stock. By doing this, you’ll be helping your bookstore survive in a world that is increasingly hostile to local, independent businesses of any kind, never mind bookstores!
Now, doesn’t that make you want to get started? So get entered to win one of 2 Real Food Fermentation Books below! And don’t forget to head over to www.honesttogoodnessliving.com tomorrow!
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