By Blair Anthony RobertsonThe Sacramento Bee
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The surge in popularity of fermented foods in recent years — eating them, creating them at home, exploring different cultures and cuisines — is based largely on the idea that this stuff can be really good for you.
In today’s filtered, purified, sanitized, antibacterial world, you might think avoiding bacteria of any kind is a good thing. Turns out, plenty of bacteria, invisible to the naked eye, are plastered all over our food and working on our behalf.
Yes, that food you forgot was in the back of your fridge is fermenting, but not in a good way. Healthy fermentation requires a lot of care and control, but it’s very doable.
Here’s how it generally works. Through a process called lacto-fermentation, bacteria found in our natural environment feed on sugars and starches in a process that creates health-promoting enzymes, an array of probiotics and much more.
For an introduction to the wonders of fermented foods, we’re including a step-by-step rundown of how to make a fermented dish, along with two recipes that use foods that are already fermented and available at most mainstream grocery stores.
But lest you think this is about to be a health lecture instead of a celebration of food and flavor, you should know that fermented food is anything but drudgery or sacrifice. While picky eaters might find some dishes challenging at first, fermented foods include chocolate, coffee and sourdough bread made with a…
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