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Donna Minkowitz is a friend, colleague, activist and food critic. She is giving a class in New York City.  The five words that are the title of this post are the words under her blog. Yes. We’ll take that dish. You should take this class. Along with some other notables she will be reading tonight June 11, 2017 at KGB Bar and Lit Mag at 85 East 4th St. New York, NY 10003 (see below about this Zhencool production)

http://donnaminkowitz.com/food-writing-class/

http://donnaminkowitz.com/caviar-for-the-ninety-nine/

The real down low on the food scene in NYC. Well, maybe our national obsession with how we intimately relate to food and specific foods and other people’s food. These words from the above piece:

“It’s an odd time for eating out in New York. The places most likely to be reviewed by critics are restaurants where entrées cost $30 and tasting menus cost $100 and more. They are tiny food-temples and shiny mega-boîtes where most of us can’t go even if, by normal US standards, we are “upper income” — little palaces where, we, reader, certainly can’t eat if we are what the government calls either low income or middle-class. (Note that $55,575 is the median household income in the United States; median household income in the city is $67,201.) Reading the reviews has become an exercise in tantalized frustration: breathing in paragon writer Pete Wells’ description, in the New York Times, of the grated frozen foie gras appetizer at Momofuko Ko, you could be forgiven for feeling like the orphan cousin not invited to the party. “A cook behind the counter would rub a frozen cured brick of it across a Microplane held above a bowl with pine nut brittle, riesling jelly and lobes of lychee, showering them with falling pink flakes of airborne pleasure.” (The liver is part of the $195 tasting menu for lunch or dinner, the only way that you can eat at Ko.) The other spots in critics’ reviews – restaurants like Cosme and Blue Hill and even Contra and The Spotted Pig — are not for us, either, unless we’re in the top 5%, or interested in acquiring a load of debt that will cripple us.”

And it’s a restaurant review! For an eating establishment in New York City that recognizes that people with mobility and swallowing and metabolic issues need to eat as well : “Mekelburg’s, 293 Grand Avenue, Brooklyn, 718-399-2337, mekelburgs.com. Monday through Thursday, 8 AM-2 AM, Friday 8 AM-4 AM, Saturday 10 AM-4 AM, Sunday 10 AM-2 AM. Most fruits and vegetables served are pesticide-free; all house meats are hormone and antibiotic-free and pasture-raised. The extraordinary cheeses and creams served come from Lioni Latticini. Wheelchair access: the grocery and restaurant are down one flight of stairs, and an automated wheelchair lift is available, though it must be operated by a Mekelburg’s staff member. The scrupulously clean bathroom is accessible and has a lovely chalkboard covering the walls, multicolored chalk provided. On recent visits, there was lesbian love graffiti, anti-rape chants, and Black Lives Matter annotations on the walls. This was originally published in Gay City News, New York’s LGBT paper, on September 29, 2016.” 

According to Donna :

I work with writers on their books of memoir and literary nonfiction and, on occasion, on their book proposals. In addition to my experience writing and teaching memoir, I have a deep background in English literature, including a BA in Literature from Yale University and an Andrew D. White Fellowship in Comparative Literature from Cornell University. For many years, I have also been a book critic for venues ranging from the New York Times Book Review to The Nation, Salon, Kirkus, and the Village Voice

 

Foraging for mushrooms in the wilds of Cleveland..
Jeremy and daughter foraging find a mushroom (photo from kickstarter link)

And if you happen to live in Cleveland or want to help a really smart and lovely family open a very cool Eastern European Deli and Bakery send them some bucks here Larder  that’s https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/844968869/larder-a-curated-delicatessen-and-bakery-in-clevel just in case. We’ve done a lot of consulting for hoped to be food services like restaurants, caterers, pop-up restaurants as well as done a lot of training and remedial work with chefs and staff when their business was just not working. The reason why this one will be successful is because three smart, talented and energetic people with a vision are involved. It’s based on a familiar precedent of a Deli and Bakery. This should allow them to introduce ideas and dishes that people will connect with and come back for frequently. 

And after taking Donna’s class – read this Growing up Golem excerpt and you will not only have to read the entire book but see why you should get into her class – you’ll be able to write about Larder with clarity and passion. Or if you live too far away you could just watch an internet presentation by Jeremy when you donate about our favorite addiction which as you can see in our description below is our logo.


Celebrate pride month at the gay table with “Queering Food: Taste the Rainbow” readings at KGB Bar and Lit Magazine.

Featured writers: Anna Dunn, editor-in-chief of Diner Journal, Daniel Isengart from The Joy of Gay Cooking, and Donna Minkowitz, restaurant critic for Gay City News.

Anna Dunn has been the Editor-In-Chief of Diner Journal for over a decade, and a bartender at Diner, Achilles Heel, and Roman’s for almost as long. She is co-author of Saltie: A Cookbook and Dinner at the Long Table. Glowinglikeagaslamp.com


Daniel Isengart is a German-born cabaret entertainer, writer and self-employed private chef. His controversial essays on The Joy of Gay Cooking were published on Slate.com in 2015. Isengart is a contributing writer to Jarry, the first explicitly gay food magazine. Isengart.com

 

culturesgroup offers food preparation, preservation and fermentation education and information. We share and collaborate with individuals, other educators, and businesses through e-books and internet meetings, printed materials, videos, photos, and presentations on:

• the preservation and demonstration of food cultures and techniques

• wild yeasts, koji, grains and SCOBYs to create sake, beer and beverages

• fermentation and food history, culture and semiotics

• the use of aspergillum and lactobacillus throughout the world to create:

Miso • Sake • Mirin • Tseukemono • Koji • Tamari • Shoyu • Legumes • Cheese • Cultures • Fish Sauce • Amazake • Milk Kefir • Wild Yeasts • Food History • Kimchee •  Whole Grains • Sourdough

http://www.culturesgroup.net

E-mail: culturesgroup@earthlink.net

Twitter: @culturesgroup

Tumblr: https://www.tumblr.com/#culturesgroup   https://culturesgroup.tumblr.com/post/132198811435/wwwculturesgroupnet

Instagram: @culturesgroup

https://www.facebook.com/groups/aspergillus/

https://www.facebook.com/culturesgroup

HRN Radio: http://heritageradionetwork.org/podcast/ken-fornataro/

Here is a recent interview with Chef Ken with brief bio:

https://www.mixcloud.com/fuhment…/episode-204-ken-fornataro/

For the last 40 years Ken Fornataro has been fermenting and preserving grains, legumes and other proteins with A. oryzae.  Ken was appointed Executive Director of The Hermitage in Boston at 19 years old, and left both Brown University and Northeastern University. He found himself ducking out the back door to Erewhon, where he befriended Aveline and Michio Kushi, Bill Shurtleff and other macrobiotic practitioners and Japanese chefs, who taught him traditional Japanese fermentation — including koji, amasake, miso, shio-koji, shoyu, sake, shoyu-koji and many kinds of tseukemono.

Since then, Ken has continued his study of microbiology, food, 五大明王,  and transformative processes including fermentation. He has served as Executive Chef, Sous-Chef and Garde Manger of numerous restaurants, and has engaged in other business development — including founding and directing a non-profit organization, which made a significant contribution to developing a cure for HCV and treatment advances for HIV/AIDS.  Ken is the author of 32 publications on science and research primarily through the New York State Department of Health and The Kaiser Family Foundation. He is working on a book series related to food, fermentation, and aspergillus in conjunction with his role as founder, Executive Chef and CEO of culturesgroup.net, an educational venture dedicated to traditions in food preparation, preservation and fermentation.

#ChefKenFornataro, #miso, #microbiology , #学生, #漬物, #麹 #dysphagia, #魚, #酵母, #酒

Fiery Ferments

We won’t even try to say we didn’t already love our friends Kirsten and Christopher Shockey of ferment.works (National Tour Dates) but getting this book has been the best thing that has happened in the last year.

This is a really good basic cookbook and primer on fermentation for professional chefs, cooks, farmers, fermenters, and institutions like libraries, schools, and community centers that would greatly benefit from what this book includes. It’s way more than about hot sauce.

Kirsten and Christopher Shockey bring something that makes this book a real treasure for professional chefs, cooks and food lovers whether they are working from a home or local farm community: they have actually made the things in this book before and they detail every step that takes place. In some cases that can be up to a year! Fear not, though, They and the people that created this work know us well enough to provide some quick recipes and some clever workarounds.

The introduction by one of our long time heroines Darra Goldstein is enough for us to snap any book up. But we already loved the Shockey’s last book as much as we loved Professor Goldstein’s books (obviously the ones on Russian and Georgian foods as well as Cured. We love that this book includes reference to some of the lactofermented foods we’ll include in our in progress book, Sour Russian (2019), but that’s just a few of some truly unique recipes.

Kirsten’s Banana Story following a recipe for fried bananas with a pineapple habanero syrup tells you where she comes from, and the underlying celebration of culture and living that is as wonderful and bracing for multiple reasons in the recipes for hot ferments, pepper facts, and spice lore.

If you don’t like fire you could substitute any hot pepper with a sweet one, or even a semi-dried cucumber or zucchini when your garden demands you do so. The fact that the book brings a probiotic, lactofermented approach to many classics and some really cool inventions at the same time demonstrates a belief we chefs, fermenters, and health conscious people believe. Eat locally, sustainably and real food with nutrient rich quality whenever you can.

Fermentation as preservation is one of the ways that can be accomplished. It’s the ultimate lagniappe of eating great tasting food! Want some great ideas on how to make tempeh, tofu, grains, toast and even homemade sausages explode with flavor? It’s in this book that is also available a a paperback or Kindle book at Amazon and all these places!

The peppers and spice background and technique sections would have made this book indispensable without a single recipe. But if spicy food is your thing the Extinguishing the Fire in the Sauces chapter – another brilliant reference section for any chef or fermenter – is the most useful thing you’ll read on the subject. Because unless you are in a professional, well equipped kitchen you won’t be able to stick you head in a vat of frozen, syrupy vodka in a walk in freezer.

This also seems to be the year of rhubarb the vegetable and super pickle especially chutney ingredient. Their rhubarb or cucumber achar recipes are absolutely thrilling. The absolute best step by step recipe on how to make gochujang we’ve ever read – a riff on Emily Kim’s @maangchi recipe from her book – as well as a clever 2 to 3 week hot fix very similar to an old style Chinese fermented wheat paste based sauce.

There is so much more. It’s just the right time of the year in the US to get ready to eat and enjoy! Buy this book now! It’s truly one of those rare books that chefs and home cooks will have on hand and at hand for years to come.

Reviewed by Chef Ken Fornataro of culturesgroup.net

www.fermentationonwheels.com

Fermentation on wheels gave a presentation yesterday to a packed house yesterday in New York City. Today, Tara – that girl with the cat that drives the fermentation bus throughout the country empowering people to take control of the food they eat and where it comes from – is giving another presentation tonight February 8, 2015 in Brooklyn New York. (see www.fermentationonwheels.com for details). Check Tara’s website to see where she is next scheduled to be. Here the recent article in the New York Times Fermentation on Wheels Bus

Before getting into the specifics of all the different kinds of cultures she brought for participants to take home and try she laid out her philosophy. It’s yet another reason why we support her. TheKabochaFactory special ferments.

“I drive a mobile creative project, also known as an old converted old bus, equipped with a fermentation lab and workshop space. It’s my tool to inspire people to live more simply and sustainably, as well as encourage people to prepare their own food: a strong point being to get back in the kitchen and better nourish ourselves. When we do we bring more richness to our lives. It helps build community, health & wonder.

Thriving communities realize the interconnectedness of food, health, and education. If we don’t have access to good food and the education to prepare it then how will we have the energy and mental capacity to discover new alternative energy systems or think up the next Google. Our current factory-based food system is a system destined to crash & burn: it destroys our planet, it disregards the sacredness of us as living things, an ecosystem – whether it be plant, animal, or microbe – and it desensitizes us to the amazing array of flavors we can experience.

We will have the materials we need to stay healthy if we join forces with people who are growing & making good food. Not only do these people help individuals, but they are helping the earth in their care of the land. Our planet needs all the help it can get right now and it must start with us.

I’m trying to show people there is a way to refuse the flawed food, health & education systems. There are alternatives ways to live. There are other ways to get and make the foods our bodies crave, to stay robust — and I’m here to educate & support people in that journey.”

Tara spoke about Kombucha, a tea fungus and sugar based fermented beverage that was once a marginal beverage in the United States but which now sells billions of dollars worth of bottles made by so many different companies that wherever you live you can probably by the local brew if you like. You can order SCOBYs (symbiotic colonies of bacteria and yeast) to throw into the tea of your choice along with some type of sugar and preferably a little bit from a previous batch. Get them online from Cultures for Health,Organic Cultures, or even Amazon which sells kombucha SCOBYs from all over the country from an incredibly diverse group of brewers. We recommend either asking a friend for a SCOBY, getting one from a local group such as a meet-up such as New York City Ferments or joining one of many social networking groups where members exchange cultures and often discuss techniques.

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Also, if you happened to be in San Francisco for Valentine’s Day you can catch Sandor Ellix Katz or go to his website for some really cool opportunities, including an Advanced Fermentation Residency Program with Sandor Ellix Katz in Liberty,TN. Sandor’s traveling schedule is also posted here.

Part 2 tomorrow!

乾杯!

Winter Ferment – Fennel KimChi

Fennel

Spying some really great looking fennel in the organic section of the market we decided to make a few types of kimchi this week. In the first one we cut the long stems off of the fennel and set them aside. We then mixed the fronds and the 6 fennel bulbs and a big yellow onion with lots of salt to draw out the brine and get it ready to suck up the the other seasonings. In less than 30 minutes it was already smelling really goodand lots of brine was being released.

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So we proceeded to chop up some carrots, scrubbed but unpeeled daikon radish and several really big fat scallions into big chunks.

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We mixed them lightly with a little of the salty fennel and onion brine, omitting the sugar that is often used when doing a ferment with daikon. That started producing brine very quickly.

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We made a purée of garlic cloves, lots of fresh, organic, unpeeled ginger, some red pepper flakes another yellow onion and a small amount of cooked steel cut oats (instead of a traditional rice paste).

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The fennel and onion mixture was well drained (but not rinsed) and the brine was saved. We threw the fennel and onions in with the carrot, daikon, scallions in their brine. It was pressed down overnight by putting another bowl into the bowl the mix was in and covering it to prevent any flies, insects or an overwhelming smell. By 24 hours it was already a little bubbly and tasted great so we packed it in jars and put a parchment top on it with a rubber band because it was going to stay out at room temperature for a few days.  Of course we checked the pan that we put the jars in and at 48 hours both large jars had lost fluid. This is why we always take the leftover brine when we first make a ferment it and let that ferment separately.

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Then we packed the vegetable part of the ferment down very well to remove air and make it look pretty. Each jar got a pretty heavy (about one pound) glass disk directly on top of the brine covered vegetables which kept the kimchi very well packed and wet but not swimming in brine. We the screwed wide mouth mason jar lids with plastic washers tightly on them and let them sit out another day.

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Just a tiny bit of leakage so we threw a few big crystals of sea salt on top after pushing everything down again and sealed them tightly. They hung out in the refrigerator for about 10 days. We then tasted them again. Perfect. So we packed them back up and in about a month we’ll just start going at them! What did we do with all the saved, released and extra brine? Tell you in a little. The next huge crock vegetable ferment couldn’t wait: a root vegetable extravaganza that we thought we just would never be to our liking. We were so wrong!