Fermentation Day with Cultured Pickle!
July 23 – 27, Summer Camp
This week our East Bay camp stopped by Cultured Pickle Shop, a teeny tiny natural foods storefront with a large pickling studio space located in West Berkeley. They prepared a tasting for our summer campers of a traditional cucumber pickle, sauerkraut, pickled sunchoke, pickled carrot, and a plum parsley kombucha.
Owner Kevin Farley talked us through the process for creating all the different kinds of fermented and preserved foods. We tried two cucumber pickles at different stages in the pickling process to be able to taste the fermentation in action. The sunchoke we sampled was fermented for 3 years in a paste made out of the rice that is a byproduct of sake production – how cool is that!? Kevin also taught us about processes like anaerobic fermentation — used to make kimchi, sauerkraut, cucumber pickles — that happens in the absence of oxygen. We were taught how kombucha is made, bottled and left for a period of time in order to generate carbon dioxide, making the drink fizzy. He passed around a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast), the organism used to make kombucha, for the campers to touch and examine its slimy, squishy features. Although the majority asserted that fermented foods can be stinky or too strong for their palates, the young chefs thoroughly enjoyed the tastings and many purchased items to take home and share with their family!