There's a lot of fermentation going on in this photo. Ethiopian injera (fermented teff flatbread) and tej (honey wine) I recently shared with my friend Ceri in south London. We also swapped homemade ferments (ginger beer and beetroot sauerkraut vs. kefir grains and date vinegar). A great evening spent discussing the anarchic nature of wild fermentation, our successes and disasters, and next projects.
So, I've been thinking about sour flavours. Goodness makes and sells sweet foods like raw chocolate and coconut jam, which are always popular. But it's the sour-tasting fermented products we've made like coconut jelly, kefir and fruit vinegars that really fascinate me. To me, they provide a nice balance to the sweet flavours. I started making date vinegar as a way of enjoying the benefits of dates (high in vitamins and minerals, anti-inflammatory properties, etc.) without the sugar. Sour flavours also trigger salivation and stimulate the appetite helping us digest food.
I'm enjoying the different kinds of sour in fermented foods - from Ghanaian banku (fermented cassava or corn dough) to Ethiopian/Eritrean injera. I love that every culture (excuse the pun!) has it's own fermented sour flavours. I've got more work to do encouraging people to try some of the sour flavours and explaining their benefits.
*Photo: Ceri Buckmaster
I'm Virginia and I run Goodness. I'm slightly obsessed with raw cacao and the medicinal properties of food, which runs in the blood (there are herbalists, nurses and farmers in my family). I'll be posting about chocolate, healing foods, thoughts, recipes and experiments.