If this post accumulates interest I was thinking of making a post once a week with instructions on a ferment that we can all do together.
Starting out week one, a nice and simple ferment with ingredients you most likely have in the fridge; Fermented carrots. It sounds bland, but fermented foods have a taste that can not be replicated by mass production.
- Water (either filtered or boiled and allowed to cool. This is done to remove the chlorine in the water that would otherwise inhibit the microbes on the carrots from thriving)
- Salt (preferably pure rock / sea salt, without iodine or anticaking agent)
- Garlic (or peppercorns, juniper berries, mustard seeds, anything you like the look of. If cautious, submerge spice in boiling water for 1 minute to kill any microbes on the spice)
- Wash your hands, knife, cutting surface, and jar.
- Rinse your carrots.
- Slice the carrots length ways, and peel your garlic.
- Add carrot, garlic, and spices to your jar.
- Make a 2.5% brine (2.5g salt for every 100 ml water) and pour over your carrots, ensuring all vegetables and spices are below the water line.
- Lightly drop the lid on the jar; do not twist or create a seal, fermentation will create CO2 and if it is sealed you have just created a nice smelling frag grenade.
- Place in cool, dark location, free of insects or molds. (I would recommend keeping it between 18 and 24C (comfortable room temperature) for predictable fermentation; too cold it might not ferment at all or could take months, or too hot and it will ferment quickly causing off flavors. If it is way too hot (>35C) the microbes might die and new, possibly unfriendly, microbes can take over.)
Now we wait for a week, checking that the carrots are still under the water line and pushing them under with a clean spoon if they’ve popped up. You may also want to think about using a weight too keep them submerged. Give your ferment a sniff, it should smell funky but not bad. You might see some bubbling, this is a good sign, but don’t be concerned if you cant see any either.
Thanks to anyone who’s still reading, I hope you join me this week in making some fermented carrots! Feel free to comment with questions. Good luck and happy fermenting