The 2019 fest was a success — despite the rain!
Over 500 folks come out for the first annual Triangle Ferment Fest to learn about and sample fermented food and drink. The day started out with a fun hands-on kimchi workshop led by Mama Kwon that had people signing up at the last minute until it was at capacity. The next workshop also had numerous last minute signups, and attendees were treated to an engaging talk by Sarah Michalski on how to brew their own kombucha at home. Two presentations rounded out the list of events, both sold out before the festival began: well-known artisan baker Lionel Vatinet of La Farm taught attendees how to make sourdough bread, and microbiologist Fred Breidt from the USDA taught how to ferment foods safely.
Our awesome vendors included: Boro Beverage, Lyrix Elixirs, Jodi’s Elderberry Syrup, Spicy Hermit Kimchi, Bee’lixir, Fermenti, Cary Downtown Farmers Market, Bull City Ciderworks, Two Chicks, Cultured Carolina Kombucha, Harmony Farms, Piedmont Picnic Project, Planetary Elixirs, Cary Pottery, Cultures for Health, Atlantic Brew Supply, Tribucha, and Baxter Bees Honey. We also had an Ask an Expert booth that was very popular, and a culture exchange booth.
We had an exciting line-up of activities to choose from during the 2019 festival — from hands-on workshops to presentations. And participants in our kimchi and kombucha classes even got to take home their own ferments to enjoy!
Here’s a description of the 2019 Triangle Ferment Fest workshops.
Spice It Up with Kimchi!
Many people have heard of kimchi, a spicy traditional Korean side dish made from vegetables and spices, but are intimidated by the thought of making it in their own home. Kimchi is a flavorful addition to soups, sauces, and stir-fries, and is receiving attention as a superfood containing probiotics and healthy-gut bacteria.
Local chef Mama Kwon taught the ins and outs of making this delicious dish with local chef Mama Kwon. Participants learned about traditional Korean spices and participated in the preparation of kimchi, picked up tips along the way, and left with a jar (or two) of ready-to-ferment kimchi and instructions on finishing the process with confidence.
Make Kombucha at Home!
Kombucha is a tart, slightly sweet and refreshing fermented beverage made from fermented organic tea. Today, kombucha is loved by many for its healing, prebiotic/probiotic and energizing properties. Sarah Michalski, kombucha brewer at Cultured Carolina Kombucha Company, guided participants through the home brewing process. The class included brewing culture and starter kombucha as well as membership in a private Facebook support group.
Learn the Secrets of La Farm’s Sourdough
Participants of this presentation learned how to make great sourdough bread from Master Baker Lionel Vatinet of LaFarm. Lionel is the founder and head baker of the renowned La Farm Bakery in Cary, North Carolina. Recognized by the James Beard Foundation as a semifinalist for “Outstanding Baker” in 2015, 2016, and 2017, Lionel has been one of the foremost forces in American artisanal bread baking for the past 25 years, and USA Today just named La Farm one of the top 10 artisanal bakeries in North America.
Is Fermentation Safe?
USDA Microbiologist Fred Breidt specializes in the safety of fermented and acidic foods. Although most of us eat some form of fermented food every day, the idea of fermenting our own food conjures up images of strange, iffy, and perhaps dangerous dishes. Surely it would be best to leave it to the experts. Not so, say food scientists, microbiologists, and fermentation advocates—especially in the case of fermented raw vegetables. They point out that just about any raw vegetable can be safely fermented at home, if done properly. Participants learned what fermentation is, its history, and how to do it safely.