Learn three basic ways to ferment vegetables:
Shredded (think Kraut)
Whole Preserves (Brine)
Transformation (think tomato ferment for paste and to transform into ketchup or sauces)
//There are one thousand and one different ways, this is only three//
From cabbage to shredded microbiotic jar of splendid diversity, just by adding salt and creating an anaerobic environment. Blows your blimming mind.
Some examples of finished fermenty experiments, and some examples of jars (some of which DID NOT work oh no).
Salt! We love you so! Salt is the key in all of this, the better the salt, the greater the ferment. Salt comes in a bajillion different species... like in the way clouds have species.
Glory be! A fennel gooseberry nasturtium ferment that went fizzzzzy af, so delicious and at this stage could be eaten raw or roasted to be NEXT LEVEL delicious.
You can ferment almost anything. Here, bamboo shoots in brine in the foreground and oyster mushroom, apple and beet in the back. The purple ferment was made to use up the last of three items that were on their way to being waste. The flavours worked really well as a sour sweetness, initially fizzy and really juicy.
Purple carrots of this purpleness turns the brine the loveliest pink.
Oooooh the nommest! The result of the purple carrot ferment with sunchokes aka fartichokes aka topinambur. These vegetables are FAMOUS for their gasifying properties, they will turn you into a balloon UNLESS YOU FERMENT THEM! If you've had them you will know they are the greatest vegetable that ever roamed the planet ever, apart from taro of course (amadumbe). Also, what happens when you lacto-ferment hashish?
Tomato ferment soft and lovely, two days in the baking sun. Why? Because why not? When you practise fermentation for long enough you will make recipes up and sometimes they work reeeeally well.
The more you process food by hand, the more you realize how far away we are from comprehending what food is. It's something grown by people we don't know, in a way we don't understand, washed with stuffs we wouldn't normally use, transported from places we've never been (sometimes even on a ship or a plane), packaged and presented on a refrigerated shelf in a well lit massive air conditioned room for an amount that makes no sense. Guys, that process is so far away from what happened here today in the processing of these vegetables. They came from farmers you can actually meet around town, washed by me in spring water and again before preparation, they are superbly seasonal and we'll be dealing with the whole plant. None of this #FoodWaste business. Understand the whole plant, understand how to store food, how to process it, why and for what. The food system is broken, doing something as simple as fermenting becomes a political act. Knowledge is empowering.