Long before the dawn of refrigerators, people fermented food as a means of preserving it. Now, thanks to nutritional benefits such as so-called good bacteria and an undying obsession with artisanal foods its become trendy. Vanessa Barrington, a self-taught home cook and food writer, covers the history and preparation of several fermented and pickled dishes in her book, D.I.Y. Delicious: Recipes and Ideas for Simple Food from Scratch. Tonight she teaches about the wild ferment the process of relying on naturally occurring bacteria (that's the good bacteria) in the air to start the process. Fun with Ferments: Kimchi, Kraut, & Curtido covers just what its name suggests: the ever-popular Korean kimchi, traditional sauerkraut (which is associated with Germany but probably originated in China, according to Barrington), and the Salvadorian dish curtido, which is served with pupusas. You'll take home your own starter kimchi, one of the other two dishes, and recipes to make additional ferments in your own kitchen.
Thu., Nov. 18, 5:30 p.m., 2010