The Art of Fermentation: An In-Depth Exploration of Essential Concepts and Processes from around the Worldby Sandor Ellix Katz
Winner of the 2013 James Beard Foundation Book Award for Reference and Scholarship, and a New York Times bestseller, The Art of Fermentation is the most comprehensive guide to do-it-yourself home fermentation ever published. Sandor Katz presents the concepts and processes behind fermentation in ways that are simple enough to guide a reader through/em>/em>
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Winner of the 2013 James Beard Foundation Book Award for Reference and Scholarship, and a New York Times bestseller, The Art of Fermentation is the most comprehensive guide to do-it-yourself home fermentation ever published. Sandor Katz presents the concepts and processes behind fermentation in ways that are simple enough to guide a reader through their first experience making sauerkraut or yogurt, and in-depth enough to provide greater understanding and insight for experienced practitioners.
While Katz expertly contextualizes fermentation in terms of biological and cultural evolution, health and nutrition, and even economics, this is primarily a compendium of practical information—how the processes work; parameters for safety; techniques for effective preservation; troubleshooting; and more.
With two-color illustrations and extended resources, this book provides essential wisdom for cooks, homesteaders, farmers, gleaners, foragers, and food lovers of any kind who want to develop a deeper understanding and appreciation for arguably the oldest form of food preservation, and part of the roots of culture itself.
Readers will find detailed information on fermenting vegetables; sugars into alcohol (meads, wines, and ciders); sour tonic beverages; milk; grains and starchy tubers; beers (and other grain-based alcoholic beverages); beans; seeds; nuts; fish; meat; and eggs, as well as growing mold cultures, using fermentation in agriculture, art, and energy production, and considerations for commercial enterprises. Sandor Katz has introduced what will undoubtedly remain a classic in food literature, and is the first—and only—of its kind.
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Meet the Author
Sandor Ellix Katz is a fermentation revivalist. A self-taught experimentalist who lives in rural Tennessee, his explorations in fermentation developed out of overlapping interests in cooking, nutrition, and gardening. This book, originally published in 2003, along with his The Art of Fermentation (2012) and the hundreds of fermentation workshops he has taught around the world, have helped to catalyze a broad revival of the fermentation arts. Newsweek called Wild Fermentation "the fermenting Bible," and The New York Times calls Sandor “one of the unlikely rock stars of the American food scene.” For more information, check out his website www.wildfermentation.com.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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The very first sentence of the Library Review's description of this book states that it is not a line-by-line cookbook. Neither the cover nor a quick flip through the pages gives the impression of a cookbook either, so don't be bothered by the 1-star reviewer who gave this book a bad rating for not being something it never claimed to be. Sandor Katz is a self taught expert in fermentation whose passion for the subject is apparent. He draws on microbiology and culinary anthropology to explore the development and application of fermentation to many types of foods in all cultures over time. The book is very wide in its scope and has a very big-picture approach. I enjoyed all the bits of information and came away more confident in my fermentation experimentations. My first sauerkraut and pickled peppers turned out great! Don't be put off that Katz doesn't tell you precisely how much of each ingredient to include. I doubt if a time-traveler to the year 1600 in Germany would find Lars and Peter arguing about whether their barrel of pickles should contain 20 heads of garlic or 25. ;)
I enjoyed the history and background in the book, as I have been fermenting for about a year. I have also read several of the authors's other books and enjoyed them immensely. I like to know the how's and why's of things, and hear about other people's adventures into fermentation.
Sandor Kata has left nothing out. Very thorough, very interesting. You won't need any other guide.
The title, subtitles, and jacket blurbs on this book are grossly misleading. I purchased it thinking it would be the vegetable fermentation equivalent of the excellent book on curing Charcuterie by Ruhlman & Polcyn--wrong. The book does not contain a single accurate tested recipe. Everything is vague with regard to the ratio of salt to vegetable, with the constant refrain: if mold develops, if the upper layers start to rot, if maggots appear just scrap off the top and eat the rest. If you were doing things correctly the mold and maggots would not appear. It is precisely becuase I could not find accurate tested recipes with clearly specified proportions of salt to vegetable that I purchased this book. The salt to vegetable ratio must necessarily vary depending on the water content of the vegetable, the same for the concentration of the brine, otherwise the resulting salinity will be wrong and wrong things will grow. The book also wastes and inordinate amount of time on vague directions for various barely drinkable alcoholic beverages. Who needs this information? And please do not try to do anything with meat based on this book. The failure to understand the clear difference between "curing" and "fermenting" is frightening; the failure to provide tested recipes is irresponsible and DANGEROUS. If you want to try curing see the book refered to above. For Japanese bran pickles find a copy of Shizuo Tsuji's Japanese Cooking A Simple Art. The process is far more complicated than Katz indicates. Tsuji provides clear, detailed instructions. The only useful piece of information in this book is that you can order pickling crocks on line from ACE Hardware and avoid the high shipping cost by having them delivered to your local store for pick up. But for everything else (and I could go on longer with the incomplete or dangerous instructions) find another book, one with specific, detailed, tested recipes. Unfortunately that book does not now appear to exist.