LACTO-FERMENTATION

LA CHOUCROUTE MAIS AUSSI BIEN D’AUTRES CHOSE

In each edition of Kairos, the Foire aux Savoir-Faire offers you one of its recipes. 

The objective of the know-how fair is to give the taste and the techniques to *do it yourself* for the pleasure of learning, to exercise one’s creativity, to soften one’s impact on the environment and to adjust one’s consumption to one’s needs. As much as possible, the recipes she proposes during her animations, which are all listed on her website, are based on recycled materials. Its workshops are open to all, in a collaborative and experimental spirit; they allow everyone to come and make a repair, an object, test a recipe, invent one, using the tools and the material of recuperation put at disposal.

It is a technique for preserving vegetables that has the advantage of not degrading the nutritional qualities of the food and
even increase them. The vitamin C content of cabbage, for example, increases up to 4 times more after one month of lacto-fermentation! 

INGREDIENTS

  • a red or white cabbage
  • salt (10 grams of salt for 1kg of cabbage)
  • pepper + spices of your choice: juniper berries, garlic, coriander, cloves , ginger, lemon, thyme…

MATERIALS

  • a solid container in which to crush
  • a pestle
  • a jar with a screw lid for storing the presses that go into the storage jar: a plate with a stone on it can do the trick. Except for a limestone stone, because the limestone will dissolve in the juice.

THE STEPS

  • Wash the cabbage.
  • Remove the heart and the first leaves which are often damaged. 
  • Then remove two leaves to be used later.
  • Grate the cabbage and put it in the dish.
  • Crush it with the pestle. The purpose of this step is to bring out the juice of the cabbage. The juice should eventually cover the cabbage when it is under the presses.
  • Add salt and spices.
  • Put the cabbage and juice in the storage jar. Pack well.
  • Cover with previously saved cabbage leaves. This is to avoid contact with the air as much as possible. On top of it put the plate, on which we put the presses (or the pebble). It has to be heavy enough to pack the cabbage and it has to be covered by the juice.
  • Close the jar, making sure that the air can get out so that the carbonic gases from the fermentation are not trapped inside. However, if too much outside air gets in, it will make our masterpiece moldy. So, here’s a tip: take a jar with a screw-on lid, screw it all the way on and then open it up a little bit.
  • Let it rest for 2 or 3 days at room temperature (20–22 degrees), then store it for another 3 weeks in a cool place (in the cellar, 15–18 degrees). We put at a higher temperature at the beginning to activate the fermentation, and when it has started we can put in a cooler place so that it is not too fast.
  • After one month, your lacto-fermented cabbage is ready to be eaten. In salads, with rice, and my discovery of the day: on a slice of bread with tahini and parsley leaves… !

Other vegetables: carrots, asparagus, cauliflower, garlic, etc…

For some foods that contain less water than cabbage, we will have to put some on ourselves. Here’s how to do it. 

MATERIAL-INGREDIENTS:

  • a screw-top jar
  • vegetables
  • spices
  • salt: 10g for 1kg of vegetables — boiled water.
  • Boil water with salt, unless you have spring water, then let it cool. It is boiled to purify it.
  • The salt must dissolve in the water.
  • Cut the vegetables into small pieces.
  • Arrange them nicely (or not) in the jar, with the chosen spices.
  • Cover with salt water.

Close the jar with the same technique as for the cabbage, i.e. close it all the way and then open it a little so that the air can get out but not in. 

Let it rest for 2 or 3 days at room temperature (20–22 degrees), then store it for another 3 weeks in a cool place (in the cellar, 15–18 degrees). 

After one month, it’s ready! 

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