Fermented foods are much more about taste and the probiotic cultures nowadays. For thousands of years they were far more important than just a cultural appetizer. Fermentation is the use of live bacterial cultures to change the chemical composition of food, prolonging the shelf life and often adding an unmistakable tartness to it. For your health, there's little better! Some of the most deliciously diverse foods from every corner of the planet makes use of fermentation. Check out four of our favorites below!
Kombucha has made quite the rise in the past few years! We guess you could say, its popularity is bubbling over. Kombucha is made from a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast), sugar, and tea. The end result is a tart, bubbly, and drinkable superfood. Kombucha was once a niche item found in small corners of some grocery stores and can now be seen almost everywhere, with new companies popping up all the time.
Fermented cabbage is thought to have originated in China, but has seen centuries of enjoyment from East Asia through Central Europe as a fixture in many cultural dishes (no pun intended). Sauerkraut is Germany's answer to one of the many tart, fermented cabbage found on any fermented foods list. One of the most well known as well, sauerkraut is perfect for adding a bold accent to that veggie dog!
Kimchi is as important a fermented food as there is in East Asian culture. Kimchi in many ways is to Korean culture what sauerkraut is to German. Many pan-Asian fusion dishes have brilliantly incorporated kimchi in modernized interpretations while maintaining the ties to its ancient inspiration. A spicy, sour, and crunchy appetizer, kimchi is one of the most explosive flavor combinations found anywhere.
Miso is the catalyst behind many of our favorite Japanese dishes. Made from fermenting rice, soybeans, or barley, miso adds a powerful savory flavor to many dishes. Miso goes well beyond its namesake miso soup, and is used as a base in many marinades and has seen more diverse use in western pan-Asian cuisines.
This is just a short list of many great fermented foods out there! Probiotics are essential for our health, and with so much serotonin centered in our gut, treating it right is one of the most important things we can do. What better way than through such flavor!
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