I've been meaning to join in the Fight Back Fridays over at Food Ren's blog. Today, I will.
On my quest to rid my kitchen of processed foods that contain fake ingredients, I'm focusing on condiments. I'm going slowly, one at a time. If I try to do things quickly, I burn up like space debris in earth's atmosphere.
I followed the recipe for fermented salsa in the Nourishing Traditions book by Sally Fallon. Last Sunday, I went to our local coop (or is it co-op?) and bought some farm fresh tomatoes, lemon, garlic, jalapenos and cilantro. I already had onions. I chopped everything up. I left the skin on the tomatoes. Mostly because I'm lazy. Added some whey from homemade cheese and a lot of natural sea salt. Smooshed it into jars. Twisted the lids on and set them on the counter with a towel over them.
When I uncovered them last night, egads! it looked like a science experiment. Or something I would've previously thrown out of my fridge.
Luckily I've also recently read Sandor Katz's Wild Fermentation and knew that some white mold on top of ferments is normal and not harmful. You just have to scoop it off.
Therefore I did not fear the white mold and opened the first jar. The bacteria had done their job. There were bubbles and some fizzing, like a carbonated drink, but salsa. I scooped the mold and tasted. Oh the tang! the saltiness! the spiciness! It was delightful. The jars are now in my fridge and I'm working on incorporating salsa into this week's meal plan.
I used to wonder how people ever lived before electricity and refrigerators. How did they store food? I think I'm slowly starting to learn that good, wholesome food doesn't necessarily become putrefied when it "goes bad". Food that hasn't been messed with can become something totally yummy and even good for you (probiotics!) when it ferments.
I'm looking forward to our farmer's market visit coming up tomorrow morning and am excited to find something else to ferment.
I just had an idea! The mold appears as a result of the surface of the ferment being in contact with the air in the jar. What if I use my vacuum sealer to seal the jars? What then? I'm going to try it.