What is Fermentation?

February 17, 2022

Whether you go to restaurants, grocery stores, or your favorite organic food shop, you are bound to see fermented foods on the shelves.

If you are new to this style of food, then you will probably be surprised to hear that it is an ancient concept. The earliest record of fermentation dates to around 6,000 B.C. Today, fermented foods have grown to become a staple in many people's diets.

Despite their growth in popularity, there are still a handful people (especially in the U.S.) who have never heard of fermented foods or know very little about them. Don’t worry if you are one of these people - we got you.

So what is fermentation, and why should fermented foods be added to your shopping list?

Understanding Fermentation

Fermentation is a process by which yeast or naturally occurring bacteria break down a food or drink’s sugars and create energy and other byproducts. This process preserves or enhances a specific characteristic of the foods - for example, creating alcohol and CO2 in beer, and sour lactic acid in sauerkraut.

In the past, fermentation was mainly used for preservation. However, due to its ability to alter a product’s traits and organic compounds and create incredibly rich flavors and textures, many now experiment with this process to create foods that people will love!

Fermented Foods’ Health Benefits

Fermented foods contain tons of probiotics. Probiotics are healthy bacteria that protect our immune system from harmful bacteria.

Incorporating Fermented Food Into Your Diet

If you aren’t an adventurous eater, new food can be intimidating. Fermented foods come in various tastes, aromas, and textures. Becoming familiar with what counts as a “fermented food” can help you feel more inclined to try something new!

Fermented Dairy Products

Yogurt is an easy and attainable fermented food that you can find at almost any supermarket. Try eating a half cup of yogurt alongside your morning bowl of cereal.

If you’re feeling more adventurous, try a glass of kefir!

Fermented Alcoholic Beverages

When you are in the mood for alcohol, a glass of wine can simultaneously fulfill your desire and give you a fermented drink. Wine grapes are often fermented with yeast, which results in the incorporation of alcohol into the grape juice.

While certain wines are not the healthiest, you can count on red wines –– like Pinot Noir or Burgundy –– to be the ideal fermented drink choice for parties or evening meals at home.

Fermented Vegetables

Fermented vegetables such as sauerkraut (fermented cabbage) and pickles (fermented cucumbers) are some of the healthiest fermented foods that also have the benefit of extra vitamins and fiber from the vegetables themselves. If you follow a plant-based or vegan diet, these are also a great and easily accessible alternative. Our catalog of sauerkraut, kimchi, and dressings can serve as a great addition to your meal.

Some personal favorites of ours include:

Fermented Food Recipes

The uses of fermented foods are endless! So, why not start with some of these easy recipes from Cleveland Kitchen:

Classic Caraway Sauerkraut Balls

Looking for something to wow your guests during a party? Look no further than our Sauerkraut Balls.

With the help of our Classic Caraway, these will be the ultimate treat for your attendees. Not only will they be attending an amazing party with you, but they’ll get a one-of-a-kind treat that will make it a night to remember.

Vegetarian Deli Sandwich

If you want food that properly fits your vegetarian diet, then we have the sandwich for you. Classic Caraway, vegetarian deli meat slices, veggies, and whole wheat pretzel buns team up for deliciousness.

Breakfast Bacon Crescent Ring

You have heard it before: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. We, wholeheartedly, believe this. A meal –– that is as special as breakfast –– deserves to be rich and flavorful. That is where the Breakfast Bacon Crescent Ring comes in.

This dish combines mouth-watering, tender bacon, and lightly beaten eggs with our Classic Caraway, shredded cheeses, and salt and ground black pepper.

Get To Know The Fabulous Fermentation

Fermentation offers an exciting way to get complex food that tastes great, with a halo of health benefits. Now that you know more about what fermented foods can offer, it’s time to make your grocery list and start buying some ingredients for your next meal.

To learn more about Cleveland Kitchen’s mission to bring fermented foods to the American diet, check out our other blog posts and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to keep up with our world of fermented foods!

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