The Harvard Medical School explains that fermented foods may improve your gut health. Garnering plenty of interest, health experts’ attention is focused on these foods because they may strengthen your gut microbiome, the approximately 100 trillion bacteria and microorganisms that reside in your digestive tract.
Fermenting food is not a new practice, for years, due to its preservation capabilities and nutritional value, people have been pickling food. Now, says Dr. David S. Ludwig, a professor of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, can give your body healthy probiotics that create healthy digestion.
These beneficial probiotics occur using natural processes, and contain living probiotics. Live cultures can be found in:
- Korean pickled vegetables – kimchi
- Some pickles
For food to include probiotics, the fermenting process must be described as “naturally fermented” on the label.
New Flavors of Fermented Food
Jennifer Prince, writing for Nutritional Outlook, shares that new flavors and ingredients are showing up on shelves and restaurant menus. Some of the novel fermented food ingredients include:
- Mayan chocolate
- Fish sauce
- Wheat beer
Diners are also embracing kombucha, a fermented tea. The Dr. Axe website says drinking kombucha regularly may help improve a person’s mental state.
The Cost of Fermented Foods
Whether you are purchasing fermented food, or you are making it at home, the cost is inexpensive. Where fermentation is concerned, eating healthy does not have to be costly. And, yes, it is remarkably easy to do.
Incorporating Fermented Food on Your Menu
Since one of the prominent food trends currently continues to be handcrafted foods, fermented foods fit well in this genre. Locally grown, farm-raised, artisan cheeses, and beers are all still going strong. Consumers like to have a connection to their food, and something like exotic Kimchi coleslaw as a side dish is going to be a hit, says Lorri Mealey of The Balance Small Business.
Giving Cocktails a New Twist
Fermented cocktails are taking center stage with blendings like the following:
- A Gimlet with fermented lime juice
- An Im-Peached cocktail with fermented and juiced late-summer peaches, Rittenhouse rye, spiced honey syrup, lemon juice, egg whites, and Angostura bitters
- Submerged lacto-fermenting pumpkins, muddled with lemon, shaken with spiced honey, chai-infused bourbon, cinnamon sugar, and egg whites, garnished with pumpkin and garam (a blend of ground spices) marsala
All these libations can be found on Liquor.com.
Restaurants Doing Fermented Foods in Style
1. Boston’s Blue Dragon gastropub has had pickled foods on its menu since 2013. Their specialties are:
- Soy pickled eggs
- Banh mi sandwiches
- Pickled veggies
2. Nashville’s The Catbird Seat serves cherry balm peppers in a 2% brine, among other savory offerings.
3. Austin’s Emmer & Rye restaurant spotlights an elephant garlic in nukazuke (fermented wheat mash) to their patrons’ delight.
Jump on the bandwagon and see if fermented foods can make a splash in your restaurant. The time is right, and innovation is always in style.