Part 2: Reasons to Ferment Food
by Diana Zahuranec
For the second post in this mini series on fermentation, let’s get into the “why” of fermentation.
Cultures from all over the world have fermented a food or drink. The principle reason has been to preserve their harvest. Over the winter months, fermented vegetables last and provide a source of calories, nutrients, and an accompaniment to the endless plates of what I imagine were sausage, jerky, smoked meat, and potatoes.
I like to imagine what the first aspiring fermenters thought when they heaped their extra produce into a large mound in a dark, warm, covered area, poured brine over top (or not), and – fully aware that vegetables rot – left it to stew before digging in with their hands. “Let’s see what this tastes like! Sort of sour but…”