Throughout the class at Fermentation Fest, Shockey taught us about techniques for fermenting gingered carrots, hot peppers, garlic paste, herb pastes, and just about any vegetable. We got to taste a number of her concoctions and even make our own non-cabbage ferment to take home. Upon completing the class, I immediately purchased Kirsten and Christopher Shockey’s new book, Fermented Vegetables. To say I was inspired and excited to ferment new things was an understatement.
Two months after taking the course and buying the book, I can say that I’ve used the Shockey’s Fermented Vegetables as the primary guide to a new chapter in my foray into fermentation. The 376 page paperback is laid out flawlessly and features many full color, tantalizing photos of many of the recipes. In the beginning of their book with pages of detailed color photos, they thoroughly cover the four fermenting techniques they use in their kitchen: 1) sauerkraut 2) kim chi 3) brined pickles and 4) chutney, relishes and pastes – and asks the readers to reference them frequently in the recipe section. The recipe section alphabetically-organizes recipes for fermenting just about every vegetable and herb you can think of (the book covers 46 vegetables and herbs, to be exact). If you have an excess of eggplant in your fridge or garden and want to ferment it, all you need to do is open up the book to the eggplant section on page 174 and learn how to make garlic eggplant wedding pickles. With Fermented Vegetables as my guide and inspiration, I have successfully made two delicious batches of both fermented pepper paste (pg. 213) and fermented garlic paste (pg. 181). Beyond the recipes, the Shockey’s give readers the tools and encouragement to experiment with fermentation and make up their own recipes using their techniques.
I can honestly say that Fermented Vegetables has helped me refine my fermenting techniques while giving me the confidence and inspiration to ferment just about every vegetable I come across in my garden, at the farmers’ market and VFC’s produce department. For those of you who are new to fermenting vegetables or excited to go beyond cabbage-based ferments, I highly recommend this book to help guide you on your adventure to ferment any vegetable you can get your hands on. You can find Fermented Vegetables by Kirsten and Christopher Shockey for sale in the VFC cookbook section.
Bjorn Bergman, Outreach Coordinator