How to properly use the phrase “fermentation” to describe foods.
In the last few weeks, I’ve been experimenting with using the word fermented in a way that has been helpful for me and others.
Here’s a look at the process.
Fermented vegetables in the United States.
Photo by Andrew Mecklenburg/NPRWhen I first started using the term fermented vegetables, I was very hesitant.
I thought, “Why do I need to know what the hell I’m talking about?”
But I’ve come to realize that I do need to understand how to properly label fermented foods.
The word fermented comes from the Greek word “feret” meaning “to ferment” or “to grow.”
So when I say, “Fermented veggies,” what I mean is that the fermentation is taking place in the plant.
The process of fermentation takes place in two stages: The first is called phytotoxicity (the process that makes food unsafe) and the second is called fermentation.
In the first stage, the plant is just producing a chemical called aldehyde.
The reason that this chemical is toxic is because the plant itself is aldehydic (it’s an alcohol).
This alcohol compounds up the plant’s water and oxygen levels.
As the water level in the leaves drops, so does the oxygen in the air and the plant starts to die.
This is why I have to make sure that when I use the term “fermenting” I’m not making it sound like a fancy science experiment.
Because the more you understand about how fermentation happens, the better you can help your customers and your customers’ health.
Here’s a list of fermented foods that I’ve had a lot of success using: