Fermenting in Maine

Not sure what surfing has to do with making Kombucha, or why you would want to surf in the cold North Atlantic waters off Maine, but hey, obviously Eli Cayer founder of Urban Farm Fermentory is an iconoclast.  I love how he talks about being fascinating with fermentation (I wonder if he has met Sandor Katz?) and how his passion manifested in the creation of a business.  It’s also really cool to see how Kombucha is made. Not so cool is that since 2010 NY state has started to regulate Kombucha  because it is fermented and  has a slight alcohol content (around 0.5%).  How much Kombucha would you have to drink to get a buzz on at 0.5%?   I need a bottle and a half of red wine to feel happy and it has 12% so…just saying.

Way back in 2009 I went through my own lacto-fermentation phase and was bottling my own lacto-fermented ginger beer.  It was fun, I even bought cola bark and sassafras to try my hand at making Root Beer and Cola, but somehow never seemed to graduate beyond the Ginger beer phase.  The thing is that once the beverage reaches the perfect point of carbonation and flavor it needs to be refrigerated otherwise it keeps fermenting.  This poses a problem unless your apartment has a walk in fridge.   Nonetheless it was fun and it did taste great with the benefits of all those stomach healthy bacteria that comes from natural fermentation.

Watching this video did not make me want to don a wet suit and go surfing, but it did make me want to get my carboy out of retirement and start fermenting again!

About urbanfoodguy

I'm a self taught cook with a dedication to buying and eating food that is as humanely and sustainably raised as possible. Which is why in addition to recipes you will see a lot of environmental/political reporting here. I started cooking when I was about 6, it's something I always loved to do. Watching Graham Kerr - aka "The Galloping Gourmet" - was what got me started and I have never really looked back. Over the years I've been a private chef, a caterer, and a food stylist for magazines such as Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, Real Simple, Oprah, Martha Stewart's Everyday Food and many more. I've also worked in the prep kitchen for the Food Network on the Bobby Flay and Paula Deen shows. Now I work at home in my kitchen sharing with you here recipes that I create or that other people have created that inspire me and I think you will like. I love my neighborhood (the Lower East Side of Manhattan) and I love to travel. Because NYC is such a big place I tend to focus mostly on my 'hood and the ones that are close by: The East Village, Bowery, Chinatown and Williamsburg. My love of travel has no limits really, I'm always ready to get on a plane. I was lucky enough to have a business for many years that allowed me to spend a lot of time in South East Asia. These days I've been spending time in Mexico, Germany, Canada and the West Coast of the U.S., but check back you never know where I might end up. I do consulting, cooking classes, and freelance lifestyle writing so if you are interested please send me a note: urbanfoodguy@gmail.com
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