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The Art of Fermentation: An in-Depth Exploration of Essential Concepts and Processes from Around the World

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Winner of the 2013 James Beard Foundation Book Award for Reference and Scholarship, and a New York Times bestseller, The Art of Fermentation is the most comprehensive guide to do-it-yourself home fermentation ever published. Sandor Katz presents the concepts and processes behind fermentation in ways that are simple enough to guide a reader through their first experience ma Winner of the 2013 James Beard Foundation Book Award for Reference and Scholarship, and a New York Times bestseller, The Art of Fermentation is the most comprehensive guide to do-it-yourself home fermentation ever published. Sandor Katz presents the concepts and processes behind fermentation in ways that are simple enough to guide a reader through their first experience making sauerkraut or yogurt, and in-depth enough to provide greater understanding and insight for experienced practitioners. While Katz expertly contextualizes fermentation in terms of biological and cultural evolution, health and nutrition, and even economics, this is primarily a compendium of practical information--how the processes work; parameters for safety; techniques for effective preservation; troubleshooting; and more. With two-color illustrations and extended resources, this book provides essential wisdom for cooks, homesteaders, farmers, gleaners, foragers, and food lovers of any kind who want to develop a deeper understanding and appreciation for arguably the oldest form of food preservation, and part of the roots of culture itself. Readers will find detailed information on fermenting vegetables; sugars into alcohol (meads, wines, and ciders); sour tonic beverages; milk; grains and starchy tubers; beers (and other grain-based alcoholic beverages); beans; seeds; nuts; fish; meat; and eggs, as well as growing mold cultures, using fermentation in agriculture, art, and energy production, and considerations for commercial enterprises. Sandor Katz has introduced what will undoubtedly remain a classic in food literature, and is the first--and only--of its kind.


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Winner of the 2013 James Beard Foundation Book Award for Reference and Scholarship, and a New York Times bestseller, The Art of Fermentation is the most comprehensive guide to do-it-yourself home fermentation ever published. Sandor Katz presents the concepts and processes behind fermentation in ways that are simple enough to guide a reader through their first experience ma Winner of the 2013 James Beard Foundation Book Award for Reference and Scholarship, and a New York Times bestseller, The Art of Fermentation is the most comprehensive guide to do-it-yourself home fermentation ever published. Sandor Katz presents the concepts and processes behind fermentation in ways that are simple enough to guide a reader through their first experience making sauerkraut or yogurt, and in-depth enough to provide greater understanding and insight for experienced practitioners. While Katz expertly contextualizes fermentation in terms of biological and cultural evolution, health and nutrition, and even economics, this is primarily a compendium of practical information--how the processes work; parameters for safety; techniques for effective preservation; troubleshooting; and more. With two-color illustrations and extended resources, this book provides essential wisdom for cooks, homesteaders, farmers, gleaners, foragers, and food lovers of any kind who want to develop a deeper understanding and appreciation for arguably the oldest form of food preservation, and part of the roots of culture itself. Readers will find detailed information on fermenting vegetables; sugars into alcohol (meads, wines, and ciders); sour tonic beverages; milk; grains and starchy tubers; beers (and other grain-based alcoholic beverages); beans; seeds; nuts; fish; meat; and eggs, as well as growing mold cultures, using fermentation in agriculture, art, and energy production, and considerations for commercial enterprises. Sandor Katz has introduced what will undoubtedly remain a classic in food literature, and is the first--and only--of its kind.

30 review for The Art of Fermentation: An in-Depth Exploration of Essential Concepts and Processes from Around the World

  1. 4 out of 5

    Max

    This book completely thrills me in so many ways! It is essentially an encyclopedia of what is known about fermentation, with stories based in the personal experimentation of the author and people he's encountered in his travels, as well as a ton of other research. But it is so much more than that. Equally as precious to me as the vast amount of geeky information about fermentation processes and lore is the perspective. My heart leaps for joy that a queer, community-minded, politically radical, ra This book completely thrills me in so many ways! It is essentially an encyclopedia of what is known about fermentation, with stories based in the personal experimentation of the author and people he's encountered in his travels, as well as a ton of other research. But it is so much more than that. Equally as precious to me as the vast amount of geeky information about fermentation processes and lore is the perspective. My heart leaps for joy that a queer, community-minded, politically radical, radical faerie-identified creature started sharing their explorations in a zine/pamphlet, expanded it into a beginner's book that became wildly popular, and now has matured the work into this TOME that is arguably the best resource on the subject in the world, AND that the author's radical perspective and personality clearly remain the heart and foundation of this work. What an incredible inspiration for just simply being who you are and doing what you love. Thank you Sandor Katz for teaching me and my community how to pickle, and for making this world a much better place to be. p.s. It is probably not the best beginner's manual -- "Wild Fermentation" is a better place to start if you're new and want basic instruction.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Clarissa Simmens

    A lovely friend of mine presented me with this book. Realistically, I believed there wasn't much I'd learn about fermentation. Years ago, I was strictly macrobiotic and those familiar with the concept will know that a percentage of each meal consists of fermented food. My roommate has been fermenting sauerkraut for 22 years and I like to ferment fresh pickles using home-grown dill and cucumbers. We are lucky to have a nearby Asian market in our small town, so miso is plentiful and has never been A lovely friend of mine presented me with this book. Realistically, I believed there wasn't much I'd learn about fermentation. Years ago, I was strictly macrobiotic and those familiar with the concept will know that a percentage of each meal consists of fermented food. My roommate has been fermenting sauerkraut for 22 years and I like to ferment fresh pickles using home-grown dill and cucumbers. We are lucky to have a nearby Asian market in our small town, so miso is plentiful and has never been on our list to home ferment. All this is to say that Sandor Ellix Katz is so thorough that I have been learning facets of this almost-forgotten dietary practice, completely in awe of his knowledge. Originally, I just picked out chapters to read: Cultivating a Biophilic Consciousness, Fermentation as a Strategy for Energy Efficiency, Substrates and Microbial Communities, Salting versus Brining, Jar Method, Crock Method, and then the various types of foods used for fermentation including alcoholic beverages, vegetables and condiments. I do not mean to turn this review into a list. You can certainly peruse the contents using the “look inside” feature. I have the Kindle edition and all illustrations are quite clear on the Kindle Fire HD7. So I skipped around and then suddenly realized how engrossing each chapter is, so I went back to the beginning and have been reading it like a novel, cover-to-cover. It is so much easier to buy a jar of pickles from the supermarket shelf, but fermenting one's foods and beverages brings about a spiritual connection, a binding of the earth with ourselves, that plunking down a few dollars for a jar of fermented food cannot begin to compare. Even if you do not grow your own vegetables, the elemental connection is there: earth producing the foodstuff, water as an almost amniotic fluid, and the temporary banishment of air and fire until the birth of the new, healthy offering to our body and soul.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

    The Art of Fermentation is, as the title says, an in-depth exploration of the processes and concepts of fermentation. Sandor Katz covers various types of fermentation that cover a wide range of fermentables (vegetables, grains, etc) and a diverse geographic region. In many ways this is the encyclopedia of fermentation. It is an excellent resource for those who want to know more about the process and how fermentated foods are used around the world and for those who would like to take their own fe The Art of Fermentation is, as the title says, an in-depth exploration of the processes and concepts of fermentation. Sandor Katz covers various types of fermentation that cover a wide range of fermentables (vegetables, grains, etc) and a diverse geographic region. In many ways this is the encyclopedia of fermentation. It is an excellent resource for those who want to know more about the process and how fermentated foods are used around the world and for those who would like to take their own fermentation to the next level. With that being said, this is not a beginner book. There are few traditional recipes of the "add X amount of salt to Y amount of water and use to very Z amount of vegetables, leave for N days". The methods are explained and from that someone who has made a couple of fermented foods such as pickles or sauerkraut could easily devise their own recipes. However, the lack of detailed example recipes could be daunting to a newcomer. Katz's previous book, Wild Fermentation is an excellent introduction for those new to this method of food preservation. Once you feel you're moving past the dishes presented in Wild Fermentation you're ready to jump to The Art of Fermentation! EDIT 12/12/12: I'm not sure why I originally gave this book 2 stars. At first I wasn't thrilled, I expected more recipes, however as time as passed I find myself coming to the book more and more for ideas and inspiration when I want to try new things. My review above still stands - this is not a replacement for Wild Fermentation but it is an excellent next step once you're comfortable with the recipes/methods in that book.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Janet

    Is it possible for a book to be both too detailed and not detailed enough? Maybe I would be better reading Wild Fermentation, but I felt that this book was lacking in details about how to actually execute these different fermentation items. The recipes and suggestions were buried deep within layers of excessive details about each item, most of which boiled down to "there's lots of different varieties of this, mess around and see what you like." I appreciate that approach, but giving more clear d Is it possible for a book to be both too detailed and not detailed enough? Maybe I would be better reading Wild Fermentation, but I felt that this book was lacking in details about how to actually execute these different fermentation items. The recipes and suggestions were buried deep within layers of excessive details about each item, most of which boiled down to "there's lots of different varieties of this, mess around and see what you like." I appreciate that approach, but giving more clear details of a starting point for these recipes, then building from there, would dramatically help someone just starting out in these processes.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ken-ichi

    I guess I haven't really read this cover to cover, but I do consult it now and then, which is probably how it was intended to be read. Awkwardly, it's not a book of recipes, so it's useless if you just want to make sauerkraut *right now*. It's perfect if you just want to wrap your head around what sauerkraut is, how it becomes sauerkraut, who makes it, what varieties there are, how it differs from kimchi, whether it will kill you if something weird grows on top of it, etc., which are all useful I guess I haven't really read this cover to cover, but I do consult it now and then, which is probably how it was intended to be read. Awkwardly, it's not a book of recipes, so it's useless if you just want to make sauerkraut *right now*. It's perfect if you just want to wrap your head around what sauerkraut is, how it becomes sauerkraut, who makes it, what varieties there are, how it differs from kimchi, whether it will kill you if something weird grows on top of it, etc., which are all useful inputs to kind of figuring out a process on your own.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Athena

    This is an astounding work, a magnum opus reference guide to All Things Fermented. It's not a cookbook, per se, although an experienced cook could use it to develop recipes. (For recipes to start my adventure in fermenting I will look to Katz's equally impressive cookbook Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods. If I begin fermenting foods with some regularity I will purchase Art of Fermentation, for now the library copy will suffice.) From edibles to drinkables This is an astounding work, a magnum opus reference guide to All Things Fermented. It's not a cookbook, per se, although an experienced cook could use it to develop recipes. (For recipes to start my adventure in fermenting I will look to Katz's equally impressive cookbook Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods. If I begin fermenting foods with some regularity I will purchase Art of Fermentation, for now the library copy will suffice.) From edibles to drinkables Katz covers the entire spectrum of fermentation as well as any one person can and he quotes liberally & often from experts in various cuisines which allows him to include good (and hard-to-find) information on many, many non-Western fermenting traditions. For me his brief discussion of Chinese 'pickle' was gratefully received: typically this is an area overlooked by Western authors in favor of focusing on Korean kimchi, which is similar to some Chinese pickles but is in no way the totality of Asian fermented foods. I've been munching stinky Chinese pickle from childhood and really appreciate that Katz included at least an entry into this world, in addition to a fine explanation of soybean fermentation from both the Japanese (hamanatto) and the Chinese (douchi) traditions. There are many charming line drawings supporting the text, and there's a nicely curated series of color photos in the middle of the book showing all sorts of 'fermentalia': close-ups of bacteria, pictures of crocks, pickle markets, various finished ferments and even a demo of stuffing a jar with veggies. For anyone interested in fermented foods, Art of Fermentation is worth at least a look-though and it likely should be on the shelf for any serious fermentation enthusiast.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mishqueen

    Wow, what a huge book! Before reading this (okay, okay, skimming), I knew little to nothing about fermentation. I knew it had something to do with alcohol, cheese, and yogurt, but I also thought it was the same thing as pickling. Did you know that you can submerge vegetables in their own juices and leave them on the counter for months and eat it and LIKE it? And it's more stable than refrigeration? I obtained this book because I kept reading in many different places that fermented food is incred Wow, what a huge book! Before reading this (okay, okay, skimming), I knew little to nothing about fermentation. I knew it had something to do with alcohol, cheese, and yogurt, but I also thought it was the same thing as pickling. Did you know that you can submerge vegetables in their own juices and leave them on the counter for months and eat it and LIKE it? And it's more stable than refrigeration? I obtained this book because I kept reading in many different places that fermented food is incredibly good for us, that the nutrients are multiplied more than that of the fresh/raw version, even. As a prepper, I'm very interested in learning how to get all available nutrients into an off-the-grid diet. Whether I'm going to love the taste of fermented food still remains to be seen. Well, I know I love fermented dairy, so it gives me hope for the rest. Maybe there's a shorter book, though?

  8. 5 out of 5

    Greta Fisher

    To do this well written and very interesting book justice, I should first spend a year (at least) in the kitchen making sauerkraut,kimchi,mead,yoghurt etc.,etc., before writing a review, but since I am already convinced that "The Art of Fermentation"will be much read and used over the years, I'll just give it 5 stars and be done with it! To do this well written and very interesting book justice, I should first spend a year (at least) in the kitchen making sauerkraut,kimchi,mead,yoghurt etc.,etc., before writing a review, but since I am already convinced that "The Art of Fermentation"will be much read and used over the years, I'll just give it 5 stars and be done with it!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    I went from “knows almost nothing about fermentation” to “fermenting everything I can get my hands on” in a week. And the finished results are delicious. Couldn’t recommend this more.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Anima

    ‘Biologists use the term fermentation to describe anaerobic metabolism, the production of energy from nutrients without oxygen. ....Bacterial fermentation processes have been part of the context for all life....Bacteria break down nutrients we would not otherwise be able to digest...intestinal bacteria produce certain necessary nutrients for us , including B and K vitamins...Bacteria inhabit all our surfaces, particularly the warmer sweaty places that stay moist, as well as our eyes, upper respi ‘Biologists use the term fermentation to describe anaerobic metabolism, the production of energy from nutrients without oxygen. ....Bacterial fermentation processes have been part of the context for all life....Bacteria break down nutrients we would not otherwise be able to digest...intestinal bacteria produce certain necessary nutrients for us , including B and K vitamins...Bacteria inhabit all our surfaces, particularly the warmer sweaty places that stay moist, as well as our eyes, upper respiratory tract, and orifices; more than 700 species have been detected in the healthy oral cavity....Bacteria are such effective coevolutionary partners because they are highly adaptable and mutable. “Bacteria continually monitor their external and internal environments and compute functional outputs based on information provided by their sensory apparatus” explains bacterial geneticist James Shapiro...far from being simplistic “lower forms” of life, they are becoming recognized as highly evolved, with elaborate systems for adaptability and resilience.’ ‘We know more about the stars in the sky than about the soil under our feet,’ points out soil microbiologist Elaine Ingram....Like us, plants rely on Bacteria for their survival and have elaborate mechanisms for attracting and interacting with them’

  11. 4 out of 5

    Carol Bakker

    I think this deserves five stars for the breadth and depth of information. But did I love listening to an encyclopedia? Not so much. I was rapt when he covered kombucha and kefir, but distracted when he explored edible molds, sorghum beer, and saki. Towards the end of the 20 hours I wanted to be done. The length of it helped me get more walking done. I firmly believe that our modern trend of eliminating fermented foods from our diets has been detrimental. I've brewed kombucha, but after listening I think this deserves five stars for the breadth and depth of information. But did I love listening to an encyclopedia? Not so much. I was rapt when he covered kombucha and kefir, but distracted when he explored edible molds, sorghum beer, and saki. Towards the end of the 20 hours I wanted to be done. The length of it helped me get more walking done. I firmly believe that our modern trend of eliminating fermented foods from our diets has been detrimental. I've brewed kombucha, but after listening to Katz, I switched to kefir to decrease my sugar intake. Next step: learn to make kimchi and sourdough bread. The title includes from Around the World. Wow. This would be a great resource for supplementing studies of various cultures. For a book published in 2012, this book has held its $25 value. If I found it at a thrift store, I would snag it. Katz himself reminded me that Nourishing Traditions is another great resource, and it is already on my shelf.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ben Christensen

    10/10 will read again.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Foxthyme

    What Arora is to the fungi world, Katz is to the fermentation world. This is the ultimate go-to resource to figure everything fermentation out. Highly recommended.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Angelina

    Love this book! The subject of fermentation brings out my inner nerd, and this book feeds that impulse! When I got it, I literally sat down and started reading it cover-to-cover, as if it were a novel rather than a cookbook. This is not a book of recipes. Rather, it's a book about the methodologies and practices and principles of fermentation. I definitely appreciate the references to how fermentation is practiced around the world in obscure cultures. As a librarian and nerd, I also appreciate h Love this book! The subject of fermentation brings out my inner nerd, and this book feeds that impulse! When I got it, I literally sat down and started reading it cover-to-cover, as if it were a novel rather than a cookbook. This is not a book of recipes. Rather, it's a book about the methodologies and practices and principles of fermentation. I definitely appreciate the references to how fermentation is practiced around the world in obscure cultures. As a librarian and nerd, I also appreciate how he cites his sources constantly, so that I am able to do further reading if so desired. By far, my favorite thing is that this book enables me to go and experiment with the plethora of suggestions he provides. Again, this is NOT a book for people who like to follow recipes step-by-step. Rather, it's for the experimental cook/diy-er, who invariably modifies every recipe she uses. By far, the best section in this book is the section on "kraut-chi" (love the use of this word). There are many suggestions and variations, and I felt very inspired and motivated after reading this section. I wish the section on kefir was larger, but Katz wisely alludes several times to Dom's kefir site, which is THE online authority on kefir. Something I've been struggling with is finding use for whey (the result of making kefir-cheese), and this book brings up many suggestions. I haven't yet had the impulse to make my own beer or wine, but after reading this, I am tempted to make fruit sodas using whey and venturing into fruit fermentation and maybe even making a cider or vinegar.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl Rose

    Everything you ever wanted to learn about Fermentation and more. This is a great book, too in-depth for my needs but I enjoyed reading sections of specific interest. NO! Not fermenting sugars into Alcohol, which is Chapter 4 by the way. I was interested in Sauerkraut. Which seems simple enough and I think I'll give it a try. I learned about a fermented sweet tea, kombucha, and soon after got a few bottles of it from Whole Foods. I love this drink! And it's introducing pro-biotics into my body al Everything you ever wanted to learn about Fermentation and more. This is a great book, too in-depth for my needs but I enjoyed reading sections of specific interest. NO! Not fermenting sugars into Alcohol, which is Chapter 4 by the way. I was interested in Sauerkraut. Which seems simple enough and I think I'll give it a try. I learned about a fermented sweet tea, kombucha, and soon after got a few bottles of it from Whole Foods. I love this drink! And it's introducing pro-biotics into my body along with that Sauerkraut I got. One day, I may make my own kombucha tea and sauerkraut. For kombucha tea, I will have to find a 'mother' called SCOBY to harvest the drink. Some people think of their SCOBYS as pets as they need to be fed regularly tea and a sugar. When and if I master kombucha tea and sauerkraut, I would definitely come back to this book as it's an reference covering different fermentation processes from around the world, equipment, tools needs and the health benefits derived from fermented foods. Bon Appetit

  16. 5 out of 5

    loafingcactus

    According to my rating rules there is no way a cook book should be getting more than three stars, but this is the one. Katz makes you feel you will be Closer To God by fermenting your own foods. As others have said, complaints about lack of recipes are from readers who Do Not Get It. Katz is not the high priest of food here to tell you what God has given you, he points at it. You touch it with your own hands and eat it with your own mouth. Since reading the book I have started a mead, fermented on According to my rating rules there is no way a cook book should be getting more than three stars, but this is the one. Katz makes you feel you will be Closer To God by fermenting your own foods. As others have said, complaints about lack of recipes are from readers who Do Not Get It. Katz is not the high priest of food here to tell you what God has given you, he points at it. You touch it with your own hands and eat it with your own mouth. Since reading the book I have started a mead, fermented onions (yay!) and apples (less yay) and started making kombucha at home.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Theresa

    Lots of information about fermenting of various kinds, but the useful info is buried amongst trivia. Some clearer how-to would be more useful than a discussion of the history of different ferments.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Caroline

    Marvellous read, I enjoyed this far more than most fiction I've read recently. Marvellous read, I enjoyed this far more than most fiction I've read recently.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Carly Martin

    Katz is a Saint, the Bob Ross of pickling. A feel-good read for anyone, no matter your level of enthusiasm for microbes.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Hannah Che

    Fascinating, comprehensive, and boggling. A new world, I'm hooked. Fascinating, comprehensive, and boggling. A new world, I'm hooked.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    My experience of this book seems to be a common one. I got it expecting it to be a guide to making fermented foods, with recipes and step by step instructions to help me get going. I flipped through it, found that it had no ingredient lists or numbered directions, and it languished on my shelf for years. I was expecting a book of fermentation recipes, and this is very much not that book. But when I did finally give it time, what I found in it is even better. I came back to The Art of Fermentation My experience of this book seems to be a common one. I got it expecting it to be a guide to making fermented foods, with recipes and step by step instructions to help me get going. I flipped through it, found that it had no ingredient lists or numbered directions, and it languished on my shelf for years. I was expecting a book of fermentation recipes, and this is very much not that book. But when I did finally give it time, what I found in it is even better. I came back to The Art of Fermentation in the spring and summer of COVID-19. Like many people, I wanted projects, and (cut off from eating out), I wanted interesting food and drink. So, I started reading through, from cover to cover. Which, it turns out, is how this book needs to be read. It’s many things: an overview of the many different kinds of fermentation, with practices sampled from cultures around the world; an introduction to the science and history of fermentation; an ecological manifesto that wants to revolutionize our relationship to food and to the natural world. Most importantly, the title is apt: it really does treat fermentation as an art. It makes sense that there are no real recipes, because the creation of art can not be reduced to a series of steps to be followed mechanically. Art proceeds by experimentation and intuition, creating something singular and personal. And this is exactly the approach to fermentation the book encourages. Rather than systematizing a ferment into a clear series of steps, Katz tells us what he does, and what other people do. Often there are no quantities; “taste it” is a frequent instruction. Instead of giving you steps to follow, he teaches you how it’s done, so even from the start you’re fermenting on your own, without following a list. In order to achieve this end, the book has to take the fear out of fermentation, and it does an admirable job of that. I grew up in the age of “food safety,” with a suspicion of anything raw and at room temperature. Katz shows the differences between fermentation and canning, explains the protective properties of the bacteria and yeasts that the fermentation environment encourages, and all around makes fermentation feel much less threatening. His reassurances about mold that might form during fermentation are especially eye-opening. Reading this book left me with enough understanding to feel empowered to try all the things I was reading about. So far, I’ve made my own kombucha, sauerkraut, mixed vegetable ferments, and yogurt; I expect to try fruit wines soon, and eventually to work my way up to working with koji. Now, I could have done most of this without having to refer to The Art of Fermentation, and in some cases (especially the kombucha), I’ve gone to other sources for more precise directions. But would I have made them? I don’t know. And even if I had, it would have been with less confidence and less understanding. I would have been glad to read this book even if I’d never fermented anything. It taught me so much about where various foods come from, about the complex roles of microorganisms in our lives, about an array of food cultures I knew nothing about. It gave me a whole new appreciation of locality, of how the microbiota of a particular place produce truly unique local food products and those differences are something we should seek out and celebrate. It gave me a fresh awareness of how dependent our food systems are on energy-intensive technologies like refrigeration, and what alternatives might be possible. I’ve read books that changed the way I cooked, and I’ve read books that changed the way I thought about food, but I think this is the first book I ever read that did both at once. I recommend it unreservedly to anyone who wants to learn to ferment, to anyone who cares about food and where it comes from, and anyone interested in better understanding how we’re all connected to our world.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Rob

    Admittedly not everything in this book is TECHNICALLY fermented, but the spirit and traditions of many of these practices are adjacent to the point of overlapping so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ There were bits I skimmed (bioremediation, anyone? human decomposition, anyone?!) BUT this book definitely tickles my fancy in areas I know and love (i.e., fermented alcoholic beverages) and piqued my interest in dabbling in some others (e.g., keffir, sauerkraut, and maybe some of those cured meats). Katz is an outstanding Admittedly not everything in this book is TECHNICALLY fermented, but the spirit and traditions of many of these practices are adjacent to the point of overlapping so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ There were bits I skimmed (bioremediation, anyone? human decomposition, anyone?!) BUT this book definitely tickles my fancy in areas I know and love (i.e., fermented alcoholic beverages) and piqued my interest in dabbling in some others (e.g., keffir, sauerkraut, and maybe some of those cured meats). Katz is an outstanding narrator and storyteller, and if this sort of thing interests you at all then this book is 100% worth your time. Even if you skip over the bits about making silage and compost.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Paulo Reimann

    Thorough ...and it can be read re read by bits and pieces, most of the time not in the given order. Some pages or chapters would be more interesting some not that much, ie, love the kombucha or rejuvelac part, all grain and fermented milk portion. Meat or roots doesn't make me a buff. The book is awesome. Thorough ...and it can be read re read by bits and pieces, most of the time not in the given order. Some pages or chapters would be more interesting some not that much, ie, love the kombucha or rejuvelac part, all grain and fermented milk portion. Meat or roots doesn't make me a buff. The book is awesome.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kristy

    Very informative. Has everything you would want to know about fermenting: the biological process behind it, history, troubleshooting, and more. Makes me want to bust out my pickling crock on start on a batch of sauerkraut.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Terry Renee

    God knows I have yet to read this jewel in it’s entirety but it is a desert isle book. If I was exiled from humanity it is the first thing I would pack. Pay attention and you will eat things you never dreamed of and enjoy every bite.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Helen

    Brilliantly detailed in clear and easy to read language. Definitely a tome to reference regularly.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Erin L

    Super in-depth look at fermentation.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    I suspect this book will be referenced time and again as I get bolder with my fermentation experiments. There's so many interesting things I want to try! I suspect this book will be referenced time and again as I get bolder with my fermentation experiments. There's so many interesting things I want to try!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan Haley

    Encyclopedic but not a lot of depth and no recipes so pretty much just techniques and history to get inspired by

  30. 5 out of 5

    Vladimir Semenov

    A comprehensive book about all kinds of fermentation. Really gives you an overview and clues to go further if you want to read up more on particular methods or applications

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