Is chocolate cabbage harmful
Fermented foods are real superfoods: vegetables, milk, bread and the like that are transformed with the help of bacteria are more aromatic,
2 Fermented foods are real superfoods: vegetables, milk, bread, etc., which are transformed with the help of bacteria, are more aromatic, richer in nutrients, easier to digest and even help you lose weight. Nutrition expert Annette Sabersky shows in simple steps how fermentation works, gives tips for success and shopping aids for anyone who does not have time to do it themselves.
3 Annette Sabersky Simply ferment. Healthy through fermented superfood. All basics, recipes and shopping tips Wilhelm Heyne Verlag Munich
4 The content of this e-book is protected by copyright and contains technical security measures against unauthorized use. The removal of this security as well as the use through unauthorized processing, duplication, distribution or making available to the public, especially in electronic form, is prohibited and can result in criminal and civil sanctions. The publisher expressly points out that external links contained in the text could only be viewed by the publisher up to the time the book was published. The publisher has no influence on subsequent changes. The publisher's liability is therefore excluded. Original edition 03/2017 Copyright 2017 by Wilhelm Heyne Verlag, Munich, in the Random House GmbH publishing group, Neumarkter Straße 28, Munich Editor: Sabrina Kiefer Cover design: Hauptmann & Co. advertising agency, Munich Zurich, using a photo by Marion Grillparzer Typesetting: Leingärtner, Nabburg e-isbn: V001
5 Contents Foretaste I. Fermento foods: Why sour makes airy and how bacteria crack cocoa beans The main players Game and spontaneous or controlled? Everyday Fermentos: Tea, Coffee, Chocolate Cabbage, Vegetables & Co. Soy & Co .: Legumes ferment hard shell, tender core Fermenting grain: from bread to porridge Yoghurt, kefir and other dairy products Everything cheese! Sausage and fish Fermented drinks II. Healthy Fermentos: Why cabbage is more digestible than cabbage and yoghurt, people with lactose intolerance also benefit. No miracle fountain for vitamin B12 Better tolerance through fermentation through Fermentos? The stress microbiome is decreasing
6 What disturbs the intestinal flora Less hygiene is sometimes more fast food reduces healthy intestinal bacteria Healthy lactic acid bacteria Lactic acid bacteria in medicine Lot of cholesterol Protection against allergies A hot topic: Fermentos and cancer Do "good" bacteria protect against obesity? Antibiotics make you fat »good« bacteria under discussion The ultimate wisdom III. Buying fermentos: the subtle difference. From slow cheese and fix bread. How to recognize good quality Lactic acid vegetables Everything from legumes Bread Dairy products Cheese Vegan cheese and milk substitute products Sausage Matjes Beverages Kombucha IV. The Fermento principle: The basics of the daily diet with yoghurt, pickled vegetables & Co. The Fermento principle Sharpen your awareness of fermented Food Eat Fermentos every day. Enjoy small, fine amounts. Eat colorfully. Test the digestibility
7 V. Basic recipes: Simple instructions for cheese, cabbage and kombucha that everyone succeeds Lactic sour vegetables, kimchi and cabbage Helpful accessories Carrots with ginger Tomatoes with basil and garlic Garlic sauerkraut Pointed cabbage with fresh mint Kimchi Beetroot cabbage bread and Porridge helpful accessories rye bread with ready-made sourdough extract rye bread with homemade sourdough oat porridge millet porridge buckwheat porridge yogurt and kefir classic and vegan helpful accessories fresh yogurt yogurt from the oven soy yogurt kefir vegan kefir hard cheese and a vegan alternative helpful accessories cream cheese Cashew cheese Drinks from kombucha to elderflower sparkling wine Helpful accessories Kombucha ginger lemonade with ginger bug bread drink (kvass) apple cider
8 Elderflower sparkling wine Addresses, links and literature Selected literature
9 Foretaste Wherever you listen, it bubbles and bubbles, it is fermented. Christoph Hauser, head chef at the Berlin restaurant Herz & Niere, for example, serves his guests refined fermented parsnips with fried liver and a salad with self-fermented vinegar. Leon Benedens and Paul Seelhorst from the start-up Fairment found their passion in Kombucha. At trade fairs and workshops, they explain how tea, a little sugar and the kombucha tea mushroom can be turned into a refreshing drink. They also offer the necessary equipment and have various kombucha drinks on offer. At the »krautbraut«, which is actually called Cathrin Brandes, you can learn how to ferment vegetables from scratch in courses and on Facebook. And in the new center for fermentation in Leipzig, fermentation fans meet, exchange ideas and learn how to make ginger beer and kimchi. I myself am a big fan of “fermentos”, as I call lactic sour vegetables, sour milk products and good sourdough bread. For as long as I can remember, I've made yogurt myself, baked one or two rye breads and made elderflower sparkling wine every spring. Fermenting just fascinates me. Basically, fermenting food is nothing new. It is a traditional technique to make food durable, edible and more digestible. Microorganisms always go to work - they ferment raw materials, crack them and break them down and convert them. Because this is ultimately a form of raw material deterioration, fermentation expert Sandor Ellix Katz also speaks of "controlled rotting". That doesn't sound really appetizing. But fermentation actually creates completely new, exciting flavors. Naturally mild foods such as milk and vegetables, for example, have a fine acidity. The threadbare, protein-rich soybeans or legumes suddenly surprise with seductively spicy umami notes and the traditionally made herring becomes buttery soft and delicious thanks to microorganisms. Great-grandma already knew all of this. Today, however, the traditional recipes and instructions for fermentation are being reinterpreted. The sauerkraut comes with algae, garlic and spices in the glass, yoghurt and cheese are no longer made only from cow's milk, but also as vegan variants with soy milk, and the Far Eastern spice paste fermented with cashew nuts instead of soybeans. After all, the chefs at the Copenhagen Nordic Food Lab also like to use high-protein grasshoppers (!) For their version of the traditional soy sauce.
10 Fermentation is more popular than ever. This is also confirmed by the nutritionist and trend researcher Hanni Rützler, who identified fermentation as one of the major current food trends. She still sees them mainly in the hands of the great chefs who serve their guests fermented delicacies, but the trend is slowly making its way into private kitchens. Around videos on YouTube deal with the topic of fermentation, and numerous websites show amateur cooks grating cabbage, kneading sourdough and making yoghurt. Superfood I asked the food culture researcher Gunther Hirschfelder where the new passion for fermenting comes from. He sees several reasons for this. On the one hand, the foods that are brewed there are very healthy. "Sauerkraut is a universal remedy with which you can get through the winter safely and sustainably," he explains. It is actually bursting with healthy lactic acid bacteria, provides a lot of fiber and is therefore a real superfood not only in winter. The acidic products are especially valuable for the intestines. How great the current interest in the subject of intestinal health is, is shown by the large number of health guides that deal with it. Fermentos are a perfect match for this. They are often more digestible than the raw product and therefore an alternative for people with intolerances and allergies. When milk is fermented, lactose, the substance that causes problems for more and more women, men and children, is broken down. In traditional (longer-lasting) dough fermentation, gluten, which is said to be responsible for "bulging" and various diseases, is split and bread may therefore be more digestible for some. On the other hand, it is also great fun to grate vegetables, stir brine and knead bread dough. Doing it yourself brings satisfaction and thus relaxation, says Hirschfelder. In addition, there is the allure of the unknown, which makes do-it-yourself fans reach for cabbage and knives after work, because when fermenting is ultimately never predictable what will come of it in the end. The result always depends on the raw material (organic or conventional?), The temperature (too warm or too cold?) And the in-house microflora. Even if everything goes well, there is still the anxious question: does it really taste good? Is the herb sour or mild? Can I offer it to family and friends? Last but not least, everything is always accompanied by a bit of consumer criticism, says Hirschfelder. Anyone who prepares cabbage and kombucha themselves has a certain handle against all the food multinationals who put uniform, always the same tasting canned food, frozen food and fast food on the shelves. When you do it yourself, you know what
11 one has! The Fermento principle But what about those fermented products that can be bought ready-made? Salami, rye bread, sauerkraut, and yogurt are all traditionally made with the help of fermentation. Around 30 percent of our food is fermented, estimates the Senate Commission for the Health Assessment of Food (SKLM). The question arises as to whether all the supermarket fermentos are healthy, free of additives and therefore more digestible, or whether the quality suffers due to fixed processes. This book provides answers to these and many other questions. First of all, food that is produced with the help of fermentation is examined carefully. A chapter with shopping tips helps to keep track of things in the supermarket and to differentiate the good Fermentos from those made using the Fix process. The many health benefits of well-fermented products should also be highlighted: What benefits do they have for the intestines, what benefits in the case of intolerance and allergies? After all, it also comes down to the question: How much fermented food is healthy? So far there are no clear recommendations from science. That is why, based on my discussions with experts, I developed the so-called Fermento principle, a diet that focuses on the regular consumption of sour milk products, good bread, fine cheese and, of course, lactic acid vegetables. After all, the culinary aspect is not neglected either. In the last chapter I put together recipes for different Fermento groups for you: vegetables, cereals, dairy products and vegan alternatives as well as drinks. They are intended for beginners and are therefore detailed basic instructions that explain the production step by step. In addition, there are plenty of tips for the required vessels and equipment so that you have all the information at hand to start fermenting yourself. All recipes have been tried out several times in my own Fermento kitchen. There are some things I have not (yet) ventured into: fermenting meat and fish because I have great respect for these sensitive, easily perishable foods. But exploring the rest of the Fermentos was all the more fun. To the chagrin of my family, the kitchen also smelled a bit pungent, a couple of times the cheeky sparkling wine gushed out of the bottle uncontrollably and caused a flood, and the huge Kombucha glass with the wobbly mushroom was irritating every now and then. In return, family and friends could enjoy delicious bread, creamy yoghurt, crunchy pickled vegetables and one or two glasses of elderflower sparkling wine. The research and testing for
12 this book also enriched the author with many aromas. Annette Sabersky in December 2016
13 I Fermented foods: why sour makes airy and how bacteria crack cocoa beans Many products that we eat every day are the result of fermentation. Whether bread, cheese or cabbage, coffee, vinegar or chocolate, there are always numerous microorganisms involved that turn simple raw materials into delicious food. But which little helpers go to work, what exactly happens and how does it taste? Have you already bitten into a slice of rye bread today? Then you might have made the acquaintance of Saccharomyces cerevisiae or Lactobacillus pontis and L. plantarum. Was the sandwich topped with soft cheese or camembert? Then maybe Streptococcus thermophilus or Penicillium roqueforti were involved. Was there a (unpasteurized) natural yogurt in between? Then you may have eaten L. thermophilus. And for lunch? Was there "dumpling with sauce" and cabbage or another lactic acid vegetable? Then L. plantarum was probably at work here. Perhaps the family would rather have rice and the adults would rather have a splash of soy sauce with it? Then Aspergillus oryzae made its appearance. Fermented foods are on everyone's lips. Even if one is often not even aware of this, microorganisms play a major role in food production. "About a third of the food currently consumed is fermented," says a report by the SKLM. Since it was published back in 2010, it is likely that the proportion of fermentos in our diet is even greater today. Because ferment is trendy. Fermentation is the work of bacteria, mold, yeast and enzymes. It is derived from the Latin fermentum, which means something like "fermentation". The tiny, invisible helpers convert vegetable and animal raw materials and ferment them. This often results in less perishable products, which is why fermentation has traditionally been used primarily to preserve food. Just think of apples and grapes that are fermented into cider and wine and thus preserved, or of the classic white cabbage, which is used to make the well-known and incorruptible sauerkraut. Whether vegetables, fruit, meat and fish, milk or fruit juice, fermentation has always been used to make harvest surpluses palatable for longer or to prevent them from occurring when times are short. Honey wine, also called mead, was used as early as ancient times
14 speech. It occurs when honey is mixed with water and then simply left to its own devices. Yeasts, which are everywhere in the air, are attracted to the sweet mix and settle on it, nibble on it and multiply rapidly. They convert the sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide (CO 2), and a foamy drink is created. Strictly speaking, fermentation is a reaction in the absence of oxygen, i.e. anaerobic. The great French researcher Louis Pasteur defined: "fermentation, c est la vie sans l air." However, the terms go a little further today. The lactic acid fermentation that takes place in the production of sauerkraut is actually an air-excluded process. Today, however, the term fermentation often also includes the transformation of raw materials under the influence of air, i.e. so-called aerobic processes. This is the case when maturing matjes or when making vinegar. Why all this? In an economic sense, the shelf life is the biggest plus of fermentation. Unheated milk will spoil after a few days. Fermented into yogurt, kefir or cheese, however, it lasts for weeks to months. Raw meat must also be eaten within a very short time. If it turns into raw sausage, it can be kept for several months. The excretions of the microorganisms involved in fermentation ensure that the raw materials are preserved. That doesn't sound very appetizing, but it means nothing other than that they form alcohol, lactic and acetic acid from the sugar contained in plants and animal products and secrete them. At the same time, this substrate protects the vegetables or meat from spoiling. "Bad" microbes can no longer make a living in the acidic environment. If they come into play because something went wrong during fermentation, for example because it was too warm and unwanted microorganisms have taken over, the result is an unpleasant "soup" that spoils the food and makes it inedible. The Federal Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL) warns again and again about cheese or sausage that are contaminated with so-called listeria. They pose a particular danger to the elderly, the sick and children. Nature usually ensures peace in the »milieu«, as the microorganisms release »organic preservatives«, as Sandor Ellix Katz, American food author and one of the most important international fermentation experts, does , Acetic acid, alcohol, lactic acid and antimicrobial protein fragments. Aroma plus thanks to fermentation Of course, perishable foods can also be cooled, frozen or pasteurized
15 or sterilize to make them durable.These are established procedures that are justified, but sometimes also have disadvantages. When heating vegetables, fruit or milk, the taste often suffers. If they are sterilized, a sterile product is obtained, but the aroma falls by the wayside. The taste of the food differs significantly from that of the raw product, sometimes even being downright unpleasant. Everyone knows that from milk. UHT milk, the ultra-heated milk, has a slightly sweet, caramel-like aftertaste, which is also called cooking taste because it is reminiscent of milk that has been heated for hours. The taste and consistency of fresh mushrooms or peas also differ from the usually bland and limp vegetables from the can or from the jar. When freezing, however, the taste does not suffer. The aroma of beans, spinach or peas is retained quite well even after months of cold sleep; after cooking they are fresh and crunchy. However, deep-freezing is energy-intensive, as is, incidentally, high-temperature heating and sterilization. An important plus of fermentation is therefore that no energy is used in the production of most fermentos: grate vegetables, add brine, put in the glass, leave to stand. The rest takes care of itself. The taste benefits are not to be despised either. Seductive and surprising aromas are created, some of which are even more intense than those of the raw product. Fermentation also improves the consistency of some foods, such as cabbage. Fresh white cabbage is nice and crunchy, but only conditionally suitable for pure enjoyment. You have to chase it through the chopper to make it finer and therefore easier to chew and also to elicit its aroma. Then add a salad sauce to "tune" the cabbage to a milder and more harmonious taste. Everything is quite complex and then not to everyone's taste. If, on the other hand, I make sauerkraut from white cabbage, lactic acid fermentation creates a seductive variety of flavors that is vastly superior to the raw product. Depending on the duration of fermentation, the white cabbage has a fine to intense acidity, which is paired with a little sweetness and a slightly salty note (the salt is added so that the fermentation gets going, but more on that later). Only fermentation makes raw materials such as cocoa and coffee beans edible. It is similar with the other fermentos, which we will read about later. Whether it is cocoa beans that debitter and ultimately become chocolate, grapes for wine, green tea leaves for black tea, milk for cheese or (bitter) olives for spicy antipasti, yeasts, molds or bacteria always ensure that raw materials are actually edible and thus a taste density unparalleled
16 is created. The microbes and enzymes are extremely productive. They break down the sugar naturally present in food and convert it into acids and alcohol. In addition, they break up tasteless proteins, fats and starches into aromatic components. Starch turns into sugar, proteins turn into umami-rich amino acids and fats turn into acids, which not only have an intense taste of their own, but are also precursors for other tasty mini-molecules, which in turn tickle our palate. that results from hardly any other cooking technique, ”says Professor Thomas Vilgis from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz. The physicist researches, among other things, the physics and chemistry of food, especially the flavors. He thinks fermentation is particularly exciting, because "it creates products with new flavors, different smells and different textures," he enthuses in the journal Culinaire, which has its own issue dedicated to fermentation. In contrast to cooking, however, no heat is used here, which usually splits, breaks down and converts nutrients and creates completely new aromas. All changes are caused by enzymes that are produced by bacteria. But because it sometimes bubbles and bubbles during fermentation, Vilgis likes to speak of “molecular biological cooking processes” and “molecular low temperature cooking”. Mind you, everything without temperature supply! A good example of this is the miso paste. Umami and light sweetness If the Japanese seasoning paste miso is made from steamed soybeans, salt and the mushroom koji are added to the mixture. Aspergillus oryzae is hidden behind Koji, a mold that splits starch into sugars and thus gives the rather bitter soybean a slightly sweet note. The sugar is broken down into lactic acid, while the cracking of proteins and glutamic acid creates the popular hearty, full-bodied umami taste that satisfies the palate, which manufacturers like to add in the form of yeast extract or the flavor enhancer glutamate to bag soups and broths. Finally, Koji splits the fat from the soybean into individual fatty acids, which in turn stimulates the aroma. Fat is ultimately a flavor carrier. In the course of the fermentation, aldehydes such as hexanal with its green, somewhat earthy note as well as ethyl acetate and butyl acetate, which taste fruity, waxy and slightly greasy, are also formed in the aromas. Ultimately, however, the interaction of lactic acid (acidic), glutamic acid (umami) and protein residues result in a high degree of taste and mouthfulness, judges physicist Vilgis.
17 As a reminder: soybeans taste rather bland, slightly bitter and are inedible raw. Fermentation with a mushroom creates an aromatic paste that is ideal for refining vegetables, soups and fish. These and similar degradations and modifications take place in all fermentation processes, be it milk, vegetables, fruits, meat or fish that are fermented into yoghurt, cabbage, wine, salami or matjes. Top or flop? Cultural imprinting decides whether fermented food tastes good or makes our noses upset depends above all on what experiences we have had with it (often in childhood). In Sweden, for example, lutfisk is traditionally eaten at Christmas, a lye-treated fish that is then fermented for several weeks. Those who are not in the know describe the scruffy, putrid smelling mass as repulsive, disgusting and inedible. Locals can definitely enjoy it, and even enjoy it, as long as they have eaten it from an early age. Even the Japanese nattō, a slimy, viscous, slimy mass of soybeans that tastes like ammonia like a more than overripe Camembert, does not exactly cause storms of enthusiasm without the appropriate cultural imprint. Even Sandor Ellix Katz describes Nattō in his book The Art of Fermentation as disgusting and creepy. After all, the Chinese delicacy "hundred-year-old eggs" will at best cause sniffing in this country. They have to ferment in horse urine for a few months, "until the egg is firm, the yolk is green and the egg white is smoky black." The main actors That doesn't sound delicious. But such special flavors remain the exception in fermented foods, and of course nobody has to eat them. After all, there are enough tasty products that can be made in your own kitchen. But the question arises as to who exactly we are dealing with when we ferment vegetables, make yoghurt or make sourdough. And how do the small microorganisms that are invisible to the naked eye work? Usually a whole group of bacteria, yeasts or molds is at work here. As a rule, they do not become active at the same time, but each microorganism has its own appearance. In the production of sauerkraut, as is done at home, but also in the production of other lactic acid vegetables, the lactic acid bacterium Leuconostoc mesenteroides first begins to ferment the sugar in the cabbage, then Lactobacillus brevis takes over and later L. plantarum, L. sakei and L.
18 curvatus a. Sugar finally becomes acid, the proportion is around 2 percent. This is important for the shelf life and for the fresh taste. Finally, L. brevis comes into play, which cracks hard-to-break carbohydrates and thus makes the herb digestible. Lactic acid bacteria: the versatile lactic acid bacteria, so-called lactobacilli, are the fermentation aids that play the greatest role in fermentation. They occur mainly on vegetable raw materials and, as the name suggests, form lactic acid. They can also be found on meat and fish, and they are also involved in the production of salami, yoghurt, cheese and crème fraîche. Finally, they also ferment legumes and rice to make the dosa and idli cakes consumed in southern India and Sri Lanka, which are baked or steamed from a mixture of red lentils and rice. Yeasts: the alcohol makers Other players involved in fermentation are yeasts. They are able to form alcohol and carbon dioxide from the sugar contained in food and are therefore the main protagonists in beer and wine production, but also in schnapps and whiskey production. If you leave the alcohol to them for a long time, it turns into vinegar. Yeasts are also involved when baking bread and ensure that grain and water become a kind of leavening agent, creating an airy dough. They form carbon dioxide from the sugar in the grain, which ultimately causes the dough to rise. Molds: Koji & Co. In Asia, molds are the players of choice. You can crack raw materials rich in starch and protein, which lactic acid bacteria and yeast would be unable to cope with. Aspergillus cultures, also called Qu in China and Koji in Japan, are the favorites here. With their help, the well-known sake wine is fermented from rice and miso paste and soy sauce are fermented from soybeans. In the local fermentation kitchens, however, they do not (yet) play a major role. After all, you first need a koji mushroom for further processing and then the taste is also a bit unusual for the European palate. Of course, soy sauces have long been established, but the spicy miso paste still seems alien to many. But that could soon change: "A handful of hip locations with an innovative agenda have taught themselves koji fermentation and combined it with Western ingredients," writes Harold McGee, a molecular kitchen expert and author in the spectrum of science. So experiment
19 the staff in Momofuku's New York restaurants in an in-house laboratory with miso-like pastes based on spelled, chickpeas, cashew nuts and pistachios. In the Nordic Food Lab, the development department of the Copenhagen star restaurant Noma, chefs are also working on a miso made from yellow peas and a barley koji. While these sauces and pastes made with the help of molds also go well with local eating habits, other creative Noma creations take some getting used to: fish sauce based on grasshoppers, for example. Wild and spontaneous or controlled? If you stir a few handfuls of elderflower with water and a little sugar, leave the mixture open for a few days and then fill it in bottles, you get a tingling drink a few weeks later that is reminiscent of sparkling wine without any further action (see here). This wild fermentation is the easiest way to make fermentos. It also comes into play when sauerkraut and other fermented vegetables are prepared at home, a sourdough is prepared without yeast or added sourdough cultures or you simply let the milk stand until it has turned into sour milk or yoghurt. Wild ferments also strike in the production of olives, chocolate, tea or coffee. Vegetables, milk or cocoa beans attract the bacteria or yeasts from the environment, which attack them and ferment carbohydrates, protein or fat. Pliny the Elder called this "spontaneous emergence" because fermentation at home is not a process that can be planned down to the last detail. And so the result is always different, because you have no influence on which microorganisms settle on the vegetables and ferment them. This depends solely on the environment and is therefore completely individual. Industrial fermentation The opposite of wild, spontaneous fermentation is controlled fermentation. It usually takes place in the industrial production of yoghurt and cheese, bread, wine and sausage. Cultivated bacteria, yeasts and molds with very specific properties are always used. This has the advantage that the result always tastes the same and is therefore controllable. The SKLM names various advantages of the preparations usually offered chilled, frozen or freeze-dried. This includes: the production of food at a consistent and high quality level,
20 the control of the fermentation time, the economic process management by shortening the process time, the reduction of hygienic risks, the access to new products that cannot be produced by spontaneous fermentation. Industrial fermentation is therefore always about producing fermented foods more efficiently, cheaper and faster. The specialist magazine DLG-Mitteilungen raves about cheese cultures that are added directly to the milk and thus accelerate the ripening, aroma development and gas production for the formation of holes, thus saving money. There are also “efficient surface cultures” for white mold cheese of the Camembert and Brie type as well as for blue and red mold cheese. They evoke "the distinctive flavor of a cheese that has matured for a long time without actually having to extend the maturation period." That also saves money. With the help of defined cultures, however, other properties of sour milk products can also be influenced in such a way that they become healthier. There are bacterial cultures that make yogurt less acidic, so it needs less sweetener. Other bacterial cultures and enzymes intensify the sweet taste by breaking down the milk sugar into glucose and galactose. Here, too, you need less sugar. Not only dairy products are made with defined cultures. They are also available for baked goods and pasta, juice and beer as well as meat products. "The focus is usually on optimizing processes with regard to efficiency and safety," write the DLG-Mitteilungen. The result should therefore be as uniform as possible, standardized. From the point of view of the industry, which produces cheese, sausage or cabbage in this way according to scheme F, this is understandable. But for consumers it means simplicity instead of variety and food that always tastes the same. A plea for wild ferments But this carries risks. Because wherever food is standardized, diversity is lost. "Identity, culture and taste are subordinated to a common denominator that tends to keep falling," criticizes fermentation expert Sandor Ellix Katz and advocates wild fermentation. It is the opposite of monotony, a little antidote that anyone can use in their own home. Everyone can use the local population of microbial cultures, which only exist in this exact location, to produce unique fermented foods and drinks. So one could also be a little bit against the globalization of food and with it
21 Mass food protest. "Wild fermentation is a method," says Katz, "to build the wilderness into the body and to become one with the natural world." Everyday fermentos: tea, coffee, chocolate Every day everyone eats and drinks fermented food, often without it to even know. Fermentation is not only used to extend the shelf life of a product, but also to debitter raw materials, make them palatable and palatable. What happens in the process is shown by the examples of different products that are on everyone's table. Tea: From green leaf to black tea Do you prefer to drink green or black tea? And do you actually know the difference? The most important feature that distinguishes the two types of tea from each other is: The green tea is not fermented. Enzymes that darken the leaves are rendered ineffective by heat. With some teas, the microorganisms and thus fermentation are prevented by roasting the leaves in a pan. There is also the option of inactivating enzymes through steam treatment, as is done, according to information from the German Tea Institute, especially with Japanese teas. That doesn't mean the green tea is worse because it's heat treated. On the contrary: it often contains more so-called catechins than black tea. They are assigned numerous protective factors, for example against tooth decay and cancer. These catechins are broken down during the fermentation of the tea leaves. However, how many catechins a tea infusion actually contains also depends on the type of tea and the respective growing conditions. According to studies by the German Tea Institute, there are both black and green teas with a high catechin content. So the variety is more important than fermentation. If tea leaves are fermented, this happens shortly before drying.First, however, the leaves are harvested and ventilated on wire grids in order to remove moisture from them through withering and to make them more pliable for later rolling. "Rolling" means that the cell walls of the leaves are broken by rolling them up, so that the cell sap is oxygenated can connect. The “airing” beforehand can take up to 16 hours. After rolling, fermentation begins. In contrast to the production of lactic acid vegetables, oxygen is required for this, so it is aerobic. The aim is not just to change color from green to yellow and red-brown to black. This fermentation process is particularly important for the formation of the typical taste. For fermentation
22 the rolled tea leaves are spread out on large tubs. The process takes about two hours at temperatures between 35 and 40 C. A tea tester, also known as a teamaker, constantly checks the aroma of the leaves. Finally, the leaves are dried with hot air. What we finally drink with a tea infusion is the golden brown cell sap that adheres to the leaves and is released by the water. During the fermentation of the tea leaves, so-called theaflavins and thearubigenes are formed through oxidation of the catechins already mentioned. They are responsible for the red-brown to dark coloring of the black tea. They also have a strong antioxidant effect, so they can stand up to harmful free radicals from the environment. These can attack and damage the cell substance. Theaflavins are only found in black tea, not green. During fermentation, the fats and carotenoids of the tea leaves are also converted, which produce the tea-typical aromas. Coffee: go for the beans! Coffee beans also have to be prepared first before they finally reach the roasters and coffee grinders. The beans are the hard core of the so-called coffee cherry. As with summer sweet and sour cherries, they sit inside a fruit. To remove the core, coffee cherries are processed either wet or dry. Whichever method is chosen, the aim is always to detach the shell from the core. In doing so, the pulp, the so-called pulp, is removed and the core emerges. It is still surrounded by a layer of mucus that has to be peeled off. And this is where fermentation comes in. To remove the mucus, the beans are either poured into a water bath or simply left in a pile, where they begin to ferment without any action. The beans' own enzymes immediately attack the adhering mucus layer, which can then be removed without any problems. They also break down fats and proteins inside the beans, which is how the coffee's own aromas are formed. Since this process is very important for the later aroma of the coffee, the fermentation is carried out in a controlled manner. This means: After removing the pulp, the beans are placed in tanks filled with water. Enzymes are added to ferment the bean skin and core. After a day or two, however, the fermentation has to be interrupted, otherwise the beans would spoil in the bubbly fermenting broth. Now they are dried and the detached skin on the bean is removed. The beans are then ready to be roasted. Coffee beans de luxe from the cat's intestine A very special form of coffee bean fermentation is used in the Kopi Luwak
23 coffee applied. It ferments in the intestines of a cat, giving it a taste that is described as unique. This is not a joke, but the basis for what is probably the most expensive coffee bean in the world. It costs up to euros per kilo. In order to get the luxury coffee, crawling cats first have to eat and digest the coffee beans. Cats are carnivores in themselves, but the Asian crawling cats also feed on small insects, nuts and coffee cherries. The beans are acidified in the stomach of the animals, and lactic acid bacteria are added in the intestines, which ferment the mucous layer. In the process, proteins are broken down and the coffee is debittered. This creates flavors that, when roasted later, produce their own very special flavors. The demand is high, but the yield is low if the coffee comes from wild collection. That is why stealthy cats are usually kept en masse in small cages, which has been sharply criticized by the animal protection organization Peta. Because the animals are often caught in the wild, who are not used to living in a cage and who often get nothing to eat other than coffee cherries. They are malnourished, have behavioral disorders and suffer from hair loss, according to Peta. Since this is not well received by consumers, the Kopi Luwak beans obtained from factory farming are often sold as coffee from wild collection. Here the question arises whether the cruel production can really be worth it to finally drink a coffee that lovers describe as earthy, syrupy, mild and rich in chocolate notes. Chocolate: yeasts add flavor Then you'd better have chocolate! Here too, fermentation plays an important role in the development of taste. But it is also an aid to detach the cocoa beans from the fruit, from which chocolate and cocoa are later made. The fresh cocoa pods from the tree are surrounded by a hard shell. After opening them carefully, the cocoa beans, which are surrounded by white pulp, appear. It must first be removed to reveal the beans. This work is done by microorganisms that virtually ferment away the pulp. For this, the cocoa beans are either piled up and covered with banana leaves or placed in wooden boxes and barrels. The pulp is rich in sugar and has a low ph value. That tastes good to the bacteria, which begin to ferment anaerobically, i.e. without oxygen. Under the protective roof of the banana leaves or in the boxes there are the best conditions for the fermentation process lasting several days. Almost immediately after they are laid out, yeasts from the air also make themselves up on the beans
24 wide. They ferment the sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide. In studies, 24 different yeast strains could be analyzed, for example Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Bacteria then attack the alcohol, producing lactic and acetic acid. In this way the pulp is broken down, flows off as a kind of "sauce" and the cocoa beans are exposed. Now the beans have to germinate briefly. As a result, bitter substances are converted and softened, a central step for the later taste of the chocolate. The germination process ends after a short time and the beans are dried. Since the aroma of the beans is crucial for the taste of a chocolate, Belgian researchers have tried to influence the fermentation process. Scientists from the University of Leuven and the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology add special yeasts to the fresh cocoa beans that are to be fermented, which particularly promote the taste. These should displace the yeast from the air and carry out the fermentation process, thus creating a particularly intense aroma. They succeeded in doing this too. The intense aroma survived drying and roasting. With the help of the special types of yeast, it is now possible to offer a much greater variety of flavors in chocolate, comparable to that of tea, wine and coffee. However, it is questionable whether it is really necessary to intervene in the natural fermentation process, because there is already a large variety of types of chocolate with the most varied of taste nuances. However, the possibilities are exciting. Cabbage, vegetables & Co. The first fresh sauerkraut I ate came from a weekly market in Offenbach near Frankfurt. The visit to the weekly market on Saturday was set. A lot of delicious food from the Hessian region was offered there, especially salads and vegetables from the nearby Oberrad. We were particularly impressed by one market stall: the one with fresh cabbage. It was really fresh, not, as is usually the case today, pasteurized and packed in cans or jars. The herb was sold fresh from the barrel, so to speak, and poured into bowls from huge barrels. I don't just remember the great taste of the sauerkraut. Very spicy, quite sour and firm, it was no comparison to the cabbage in the glass, which is usually milder and softer. I haven't forgotten the looks of the three salespeople, an elderly couple and a younger man, who tirelessly shoveled cabbage, pickles and pickled feta cheese into bags and mugs. They were lean and slim, and their faces were somehow particularly fresh. Was that because of the daily consumption of sauerkraut? Sauerkraut is probably the best-known fermented food in this country. ”Ours too
25 noble sauerkraut, we shouldn't forget it; a German built it first, so it's a German meal «, writes Ludwig Uhland in the butcher's soup song of Already in a written tradition by Pliny the Elder (23/24 79 AD), the placing of salted cabbage in oil jugs is described covered to prevent oxygen from entering. For example, "with a probability bordering on certainty, lactic acid fermentation took place in them," writes the food technologist Professor Herbert Buckenhüskes in the Journal Culinaire. All over the world Germans are often associated with sauerkraut, which is what earned them the nickname »The Krauts« by the English and US Americans. However, it is not entirely certain that sauerkraut is, so to speak, a native German plant. It is believed that sauerkraut was brought to Europe by nomadic Tatars who knew the fermented cabbage from China, explains Sandor Ellix Katz in The Art of Fermentation. There and in Asia in general, pickling vegetables has a very long tradition: Just think of kimchi, the fermented, spicy trend food made from Chinese cabbage and other vegetables. In Korea it is one of several side dishes to a meal. Just as peas or potatoes are served with fish or meat here, fermented vegetables are served on the plate as a side dish. In addition to Chinese cabbage, radishes and cucumbers are also fermented. There are even kimchi museums in Korea, and a large number of kimchi stalls are lined up in the local markets. It is therefore surprising that »the Krauts« have achieved such fame, although fermented cabbage is much more important in Asia and is offered there in a greater variety. Not only white cabbage can be fermented The fact is that sauerkraut is the only fermented vegetable alongside pickled cucumbers and olives that has a certain economic importance in this country. White cabbage isn't even the only vegetable that is suitable for fermentation. Basically, all types of vegetables can be fermented. In addition to white cabbage, red and Chinese cabbage are also well suited, but not kale, which develops a very intense taste. Root vegetables of all kinds, such as carrots, beetroot, parsnips, celeriac, radishes and horseradish can also be fermented very well. Also: tomatoes, peppers, aubergines, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, broccoli, onions and green beans. Fruits can also be fermented to a certain extent: apples, soft fruits and quinces. Usually they are not fermented alone, but given to a vegetable to refine. The same procedure Whichever type of vegetable is fermented, whether in a clay pot or in a screw-top jar, in the
26 Summer or winter, with or without salt, fermentation always follows the same principle. The vegetables ferment under the exclusion of oxygen in a salty brine, acid is generated and "bad" microorganisms are left out. The fermentation makes the vegetables crisper and more digestible. Food scout Jean Luc Oosting compares the texture of fermentos with spaghetti, which is cooked al dente, i.e. cooked, but still has a bite to it. While fresh vegetables are crunchy when the cells break open when you bite into them, fermented vegetables feel “squeezed”, just as firm to the bite as pasta. Fermentation also makes hard vegetables like roots and tubers easier to chew. Tough fibers become more pliable in the course of fermentation. Conversely, soft vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers or aubergines can become wobbly, which is why shorter fermentation times are often better, says Oosting. Step by step The recipe part of the fifth chapter describes in detail how different types of vegetables are fermented. Here, however, the process should be made understandable: The vegetables are chopped up. It can be roughly cut or grated. It is important that it is cut up because this is the only way to make the nutrients from the inside of the vegetable available to microorganisms. Exceptions are soft vegetables such as tomatoes and small cucumbers, they stay whole, but are pecked with a toothpick so that the liquid can penetrate. Now the salt is added. You either mix a brine made of salt and water in which the vegetables are placed or mix the grated vegetables with salt and put them in a glass. The vegetables are pressed or pressed very firmly in the glass so that the vegetable liquid can escape; it should cover the greens. The salt helps to draw the water out of the vegetables so that enough liquid is eventually formed. It is important that the vegetables are completely covered with liquid. If it is not enough, a little more water and salt are mixed together and poured onto the chopped vegetables. Now the vegetables are weighed down from above with a weight or with a small filled glass so that they remain completely under the brine and can ferment. Alternatively, you can use a jar with a swing top and seal it airtight. The small amount of oxygen that is between the liquid and the lid does not interfere with the fermentation process as long as the jar is hermetically sealed. Now it's time to wait and try. It is allowed to nibble every few days to follow the fermento progress. At first the vegetables should taste rather mild,
27 it will get more acidic over time. At first, small pearls rise in the glass at a sign that something is happening. Depending on the raw material, correct foam can also form. It is harmless and can easily be skimmed off. The pickled vegetables can be eaten after just one week. But it can ferment for four weeks or longer, then it tastes more intense and sour. It is then placed in the refrigerator or in a cool cellar to stop fermentation. What is bubbling there? Numerous microorganisms can be found in and on vegetables. These can be yeasts and molds or the important lactic acid bacteria. Exactly which and how many there are depends on the type of vegetable, the climate and also on the treatment of the plant (is it organic or has it been sprayed?). If the vegetables are cut up and salted, the lactic and acetic acid content increases rapidly, as the sugar in the vegetables is fermented and the ph value drops. The amount of lactic acid bacteria also increases. First Lactobacillus mesenteroides appears, then L. brevis takes over after a few days in the second fermentation phase. Finally, there are bacteria that manage completely without oxygen and feel comfortable in the increasingly acidic environment, namely L. plantarum, L. sakei and L. curvatus. The lactic acid content can be around 2 percent. Industrial sauerkraut production is usually stopped after this third phase, "since most consumers prefer a mild herb," says food technologist Herbert Buckenhüskes. This is a shame, as hard-to-break carbohydrates are only cracked after some fermentation time, making the herb even more digestible. However, it then tastes quite sour and spicy, which probably only very few people like. Those who ferment themselves can of course determine the fermentation time individually. The longer the vegetables ferment, the more digestible they are, but they also get a rather sour taste.However, there is a simple trick: If you water the vegetables for an hour after the fermentation has ended, a little acid is released and the aroma is released becomes milder. A big advantage of doing it yourself is that the time of the »harvest« can be determined by yourself. It's best to try the pickled good every few days to get the perfect taste. Another plus point is that you get really fresh cabbage and vegetables. Sauerkraut sold in supermarkets was usually heated. It is pasteurized to stop fermentation and to keep it stable without refrigeration (see Chapter 3). In markets, in organic shops and in supermarkets with a well-stocked vegetable section, you can also find them now and then
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