Kimchi “represents labor and hard work. It’s about a connection to the land and to our ancestors,” says Saehee Chang, owner of Korea Konnect and Kosari Kimchi in Wisconsin. Americans use kimchi as a condiment, but in Korea the fermented salty and sour veggies are a side dish.
While Mirai Nagasu was nailing her historic triple axle during the Winter Olympics, her parents were finishing dinner service at Kiyosuzu, their Japanese restaurant in Arcadia, California. Mirai credits her creativity to her father, who makes imaginative sushi rolls. The fried natto (fermented soybeans) and the Mirai roll are customer favorites!
Rawduck restaurant in London has specialized in ferments & pickles since 2014, but only recently those fermented menu items became popular. Favorite past fermented dishes include fermented cauliflower leaves distilled in broth and celery fermented in buttermilk.
Fermentation on fire: US retail sales of kombucha and other fermented beverages surged 37.4% in 2017
Kombucha’s popularity continues to surge. Sales of kombucha and other fermented beverages grew 37.4% to $556 million last year. The 5 top brands GT’s Kombucha, KeVita, Health-Ade Kombucha, Brew Dr. Kombucha and LIVE Beverages all grew by double digits. West coasters continue to be the biggest kombucha drinkers, and ginger and berry the top two best selling flavors.
Fermented makeup? Believe it #fermentallthethings. Beauty products with fermented ingredients are becoming a popular addition to skincare regimes for their anti-aging benefits. The founder of Soko Glam says “it’s Korea’s answer to organic skin care.”
Haykin Family Cider in Colorado now features a tasting room. Owners the Haykins ferment their award-winning cider with heirloom apples grown in Colo. orchards. They don’t use concentrates, instead fermenting in small batches to create flavors like banana & pomegranate.
“We have sweets, we have heats and a little in between,” says Eric Riggers, who created Reinvent Ferment with his wife Karen. The Wisconsin food producers sell kimchis, krauts and pickled veggies. They were featured on Local 5 News.
“Culinary gold” for residents of Ganish in Northern Pakistan is fermented butter. The Hunza people pack cow and yak butter in casings of birch bark, then bury it to ferment. And villagers have unearthed 50-year-old butter beneath the village square, according to an article in National Geographic
Seven Acres Farm & Ferments is expanding their home-based fermented food business to Canada’s grocery store shelves. Their fermented offerings include water kefir, kimchi, pickles and 14 varieties of sauerkraut (like lemon dill, classic caraway and sweet juniper).
For those who want to make their own wine Grapevine d’Vine in N.Y. handles the messy part. Guests pick their custom flavor from a variety of juices, then it’s fermented in the on-premise carboy. After 4-8 weeks, customers get 28-30 bottles of personalized wine.