麹Culturesgroup: Section 9

We’re releasing an as of yet unfished or final version of our serialized publication Culturesgroupin nine sections. Section 9 is our What’s going On? section. We decided to release this now because we might not be able to get this out before our original anticipated launch date, and because the natural disasters that have been occurring in the Houston and Texas area, and Florida, and the Caribbean and California have greatly impacted a lot of people – including us.
While we hope our friends are safe and rebound quickly we still have a lot of work to do around the US to help people recover  – including quite a few friends and family members. We still welcome volunteers to write. If you are mentioned here and would like to submit additional things for us to look at please do to culturesgroup@earthlink.net
While Ken is with お父さん in New Jersey, reading and writing, and keeping many family and friends from Florida safe, check out the many links provided and get to this presentation by Rich from ourcookquest.com in Cambridge, MA or get to Great Barrington Fairgrounds in MA for BerkshireFerments.
We are one of the sponsors of this event. And we strongly support Rich and the folks at @ourcookquest. Either event, the weather should be beautiful. That’s what the eggs at our Buddha shrine are for, そおですね?

菌1.9 – What’s going on?

Cooking with Koji is really one of our favorite sites. The photos that she took for her shoyu-koji preparation using pre-made koji are very nice and useful. Check out here for the shoyu-koji recipe. You will not be disappointed.

You could also go to our friends at OurCookQuest.com to learn how to make your own koji – pretty simple, but also available readily in the US either directly or from people that make or sell it – you could get a 35 lb box of US made koji or 40 pounds of sake kasu (lees) through MTC Kitchen, for example – or through a smaller company. You could also get some amazing shoyu and other products through our friends Chef Chris Dunmore and co-owner Chris Bonomo at TheJapanesePantry.com

E-mail us if you want some other sources to purchase stuff. Although that’s 菌1.8 That incudes letting us know about something you are offering, hosting, showing.

Then again, video, Youtube, Vimeo, Films, etc reviews and listings we like is 菌1.7 (見せてください). We’re doing a review of our friends Mara King, Sandor Katz, and an amazing release from The Foundation for Fermentation Fervor, a series called the P.R.F. – because we want to watch the entire series again and again.

菌1.6 is food and fermentation related Kanji 男文字 (おとこもじ) – we love this reading. First up Harry Rosenblum. The author of one of the best books of the year: Vinegar Revival. We highly recommend this book. Harry is also the co-owner with Taylor Erkkinen of The Brooklyn Kitchen, a really cool place to learn about a wide range of topics.  Guess what the Kanji is?

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Mustard made with koji and sake and poached egg whites, Year 2

 The reason we mention Rich and friends @ourcookquest at Twitter or OurCookQuest’s Instagram account is that he’s the only one we’ve ever heard of besides us and the people that make a a drink called Koji , a tasty multi-grain amasake type beverage, who dare to make some pretty wild stuff with koji – including cheese, dairy based-amasake, and milk kefir.

菌1.5 is all about people doing interesting and cool things. Our first interview is with Kirsten and Christopher Shockley them around the country and had originally hoped to see them at the upcoming Berkshire Fermentation Festival but they won’t be there. Check out their sponsors and you’ll see why you should try to get there if you can. Our friend Cheryl Paswater from Contraband Ferments will be there!

We’ve been following Kirsten and Christopher Shockey since their first book was released, and will publish some really great photographs they took that are not published in their second book. Maybe even a discussion or two about some of the new great recipes. You can still see them on their ongoing tour  or even check out their wonderful website.

菌1.4 will be all about our favorite drink that contains our favorite mycellia ever: Aspergillus oryzae or koji. Sake, of course, and we’ll give you a short primer on the koji that is used to make sake.

 

We’re hoping to get some input from our friends at Brooklyn Kura but either way you will soon be able to buy some of the best sake we’ve ever tasted from them. We also continue our reviews of sake made in the USA and Japan, of course.

If you are lucky enough to live on the upper west coast right around where our friend Tara Whitsett lives – her book which we have already seen but do not have in our hands, yet – should be out any day now but watch her Instagram account – our friends at SakeOne are right nearby.

Believe the hype! Their new Moonstone type sake – Asian Pear Junmai Daiginjo – sounds a lot like our wildly heralded experimental Honeydew melon sake of a few years ago – but they have the refrigerators, and equipment and space we don’t have access to so we’re pretty sure theirs is beyond great. And these guys will be at the event below as well!

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#joyofsake, indeed!

If you are in New York City on Wednesday, September 27, 2017 from 6:30pm–9:30pm check this spectacular event out. It’s a beyond amazing event. Check this out now! It does cost $110 dollars, however, and if there are still any tickets left we’ll gladly accept one or a complimentary pass for the event. Or barter for the best local, organic miso you have ever tasted?

Just the food alone, though, is always amazing. Of course, both the sake and the food from great restaurants available in one place at one time from hundreds of breweries is a life’s dream come true for an American that has never been to a big show in Japan. Actually, for anyone into sake or Japanese food.

More to come

菌1.2 – nope, we did not miss 菌1.3 or 菌1.1 or 菌1.0 – is all about koji. We’ll be premiering sections from our book on koji we’ve been working on for the last two years and asking for responses.

Plus, this section will also provide a recipe or two for those that don’t want to make the koji but just use it or something made with koji like miso, shoyu, hishio, fish sauce, and tamari.

And some other things that will surprise and delight that we can’t talk about right now.

CookingwithKoji.wordpress.com

But this is CookingwithKoji.wordpress.com‘s best post to date. Visiting a Soy sauce brewer in Shodoshima  She pretty much stepped all over our salted caramel iced milk kefir recipe (we use a little of our shoyu moromi and another ingredient made with koji and it’s good). Making your own, probiotic rich, umami-laden soy sauce (shoyu) or even hishio we think everyone should try or at least know about.

So, what else should you have in your Japanese pantry? Or in your pantry in general – need tips on how to use or even make any of these things just ask at culturegroup@earthlink.net  – but this article about our friend and  先生 (Elizabeth Andoh’s website)

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betterazuke of dried daikon radish and burdock root from 2015.

So while we’re with お父さん in New Jersey, reading and writing, and now keeping many family and friends from Florida safe for now, check out the many links provided and get to this presentation by Rich from ourcookquest.com in Cambridge, MA or get to Great Barrington Fairgrounds in MA for BerkshireFerments. We are one of the sponsors of this event. The weather will be beautiful.

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!