Fermentation: A Delicious and Nutritious Revival

Fermentation is experiencing a revival, and it’s a good thing! Fermentation is an ancient process that has been used for centuries to preserve food, create delicious flavors, and provide health benefits. From kimchi to kombucha, sauerkraut to sourdough, fermentation is a fun and creative way to enjoy food and drinks. Learn more about the benefits of fermented foods and get inspired to try some new recipes!

Perhaps everyone knows what fermentation is, but few know that this preservation of food has been known since ancient times. Our ancestors knew that foods prepared in this way are a miracle, not only because they last a long time, but also because they are very good for our bodies. Fermentation is not only used for pickling cucumbers and vegetables, but nuts, cheese and alcohol are also prepared in this way. Below you will read about the benefits mentioned, the types and we will show you 3 very popular and simple recipes.


Fig. 01: Pickled or fermented vegetables have many advantages, from their long shelf life, to their interesting taste, to their health benefits.

What exactly is fermentation?

Fermentation or fermentation is a biological the process of converting organic matter. Thanks to microorganisms and their enzymes during this transformation, substances that are simpler, more energy-poor. Fermentation is a similar process to respiration, microorganisms gain energy. Although fermentation is simpler, it is not as efficient as respiration.

Fermentation is mainly used in the food industry. The most widely used is used for the production of alcohol, cheese or other dairy products and for the treatment of various vegetables. (cabbage, pickles). Fermentation is also used extensively in the chemical industry, in the disposal of oil spills or for the softening of flax.

A brief history

Archaeologists, who also examined what the ancestors ate, found that as early as 6,000 years ago, the fermentation of dairy products. However, yoghurt as we eat it now did not come to us until the modern era. In the 16th century, when Francis I was stricken with severe intestinal problems, he received from his Turkish allies a “cure” in the form of yoghurtwhich helped him to be cured. This is how yoghurt got to France, from which it penetrated all over Europe.

So people started using yogurt to cure their ailments. Other fermented foods (e.g. preserved vegetables and fruit) found their way into the market, especially when travelling long distances. People knew they would last a long time and not spoil.

Benefits and objectives of fermentation

As we have already hinted at there are many reasons for fermenting and using foods so treated. The first great advantage is undoubtedly the long shelf life. If you keep cucumbers, cabbage or whatever you like in a cool place it will no doubt last for months, sometimes years. Just watch out for the proper sealing of the containerin which you store them. Another example of a higher shelf life is certainly home-made moonshine, which not only lasts for many years, but also tastes better after longer storage.

Another advantage is, for example easier digestibility. During fermentation, the hard-to-digest ingredients are broken down and vitamin B is produced. It is recommended to consume foods treated in this way in case of poor digestion. So for intestinal problems, remember Francis I.

We must not forget a very important reason, and that is the palatability of food prepared in this way. We have 4 tastes (sweet, salty, sour and bitter), fermented products are compared to to a fifth flavour called umami. (translated as delicious). The only drawback is that the process cannot be sped up and quality fermentation takes its time. The best thing to do is to prepare a stock. But as the saying goes, ‘the best is worth waiting for’ – that’s exactly true with fermentation.

What are the types of fermentation?

The most common kind is undoubtedly alcoholic fermentation. This is the responsibility of yeast and some bacteria. Fermentation requires the presence of phosphorus and nitrogen. It produces ethanol.. This is not only how alcohol and some sourdoughs (from yeast) are made, but also kefir.

U lactic acid fermentation the work is done by bacteria which, without access to air, consume carbohydrates and thus creating lactic acid.. This type is used, for example, to make cheese, cottage cheese, pickles or sauerkraut, and even some salami.

Butyric fermentation uses lactic acid or the splitting of sugars to the production of butyric acid. The bacterium that produces butyric acid also produces butanol. It is mainly used for ripening cheese and soaking flax.

Lemon fermentation as opposed to lactic fermentation takes place with air. It is carried out by a number of mould species to produce citric acid.

Vinegar fermentation, as the name implies, is used to prepare vinegar. The alcohol is fermented to form acetic acid.

Last but not least, we know propionic fermentation, the main product of which is propionic acid. This species produces so-called gaseous effusions (holes in the emmental).

Not to stop with the technical names, we will show the most famous recipes that make the best fermented products.

Recipe for pickled cabbage

Do you love sauerkraut and would you like to prepare it from the comfort of your home? We will show you a very an easy recipe that everyone can handle. The pickled cabbage is suitable as a side dish to the main meal or you can use it in the preparation of Szeged goulash, popular potato pancakes and cabbage soup.


Fig. 02: Pickled cabbage is not only a great side dish, but thanks to its vitamin content it brings health benefits.


We will need only 1 kg of cabbage, 20 g of salt and cumin, or you can add anything you like (apple, onion, garlic, root vegetables).


  • Prepare a larger jar or pickle jar, food foil and a rubber band will suffice to cover. Wash everything thoroughly.
  • Cut the cabbage and remove the stems.
  • Grate the cabbage. For this amount, a knife will suffice, otherwise use a shredder.
  • Put it together with salt and cumin in a larger pot. Stir and then let it rest for about 3 hours.
  • Then we start to fill the jar. We squeeze hard to let the cabbage juice out and there is as little air in the jar as possible. The jar must not be completely full, the cabbage will rise a little.
  • Cover the glass with foil and secure with a rubber band.
  • The cabbage prepared in this way is left in a dark place at room temperature for about 10 days to ferment. It is then moved to a cool place (cellar, pantry) where it is left to rest for a few more days.
  • And we’re done.

Recipe for pickled cucumbers

Everyone has tried the classic in the form of pickles. This recipe is not complicated either. Cucumbers are a great addition to meat dishes. They are also great with grilled meat during the summer months, when they not only taste great, but also refresh.


Fig. 03: Pickles are a popular side dish for main courses due to their taste.


We will need 30-40 cucumbers for pickling, 2-3 smaller onions, carrots, 10 bay leaves, 15 balls of allspice, 30 peppercorns, 50 grains of mustard and a few sprigs of dill. You don’t have to follow the numbers exactly, just by eye.

At funnel we will need a liter of water, 200 ml of vinegar, 40 g of salt, 150 g of caster sugar and 8 g of citric acid – all these ingredients together boil and let cool, we will get a brine.


  • Prepare the jars (cucumber type). Wash the jars and the cucumbers thoroughly and let them drain.
  • Divide the cucumbers, peeled onions, chopped carrots and spices into each jar.
  • Pour the brine over the prepared jars (leave 3 cm free at the top).
  • Close the jars tightly with a lid and put them in a saucepan, which we fill halfway with water and let it simmer for about 20 minutes.
  • Then store in a cool place without light.

To facilitate the process, you can also use pressure cookers that can monitor the set temperature and time. Universally, they can also be used in winter as a tea or brew warmer.

Recipe for kimchi

This fermented Korean specialty is becoming increasingly popular with us. Kimchi is a national Korean treasure with a long history, which is served as a side dish to the main dish. It is a spicy pickled vegetable and anyone can prepare it. We recommend to taste.


Fig. 04: The not so well-known “kimchi” is becoming increasingly popular in Europe thanks to its taste and imaginative preparation.

Raw materials

We will need 1.2 kg of Peking cabbage, 370 g spring onions, 50 g ginger, 1 clove of garlic, 40 g sea salt, 30 g chili seasoning and 1.5 teaspoons of granulated sugar.


  • Dissolve 30 g of salt in 2 litres of water and pour into a larger glass (at least 2.5 litres).
  • Add the cabbage cut into strips and leave to rest for at least 12 hours.
  • After 12 hours, strain the brine and store.
  • In a bowl mix cabbage, chopped spring onions, grated ginger, crushed garlic, chilli, sugar and 10 g salt.
  • Place in a jar or jar and pour the brine. Close the jar with foil and weight it down.
  • Leave this in a room not exceeding 20° for at least a week.

What is fermentation?

Fermentation is a process where microorganisms such as bacteria and yeast break down carbohydrates to produce alcohol, acids, and other compounds. It has been used for centuries to preserve food, create alcoholic beverages, and make other products. Fermentation is also known for its health benefits, including improved digestion, increased energy, and enhanced immunity. Learn more about the health benefits of fermentation.

Advantages of Fermentation

  • Preserves food for longer periods of time
  • Increases nutritional value of food
  • Improves flavor and texture of food
  • Creates beneficial bacteria for gut health
  • Produces probiotics and enzymes
  • Helps to detoxify the body

Fermentation is enjoying a renaissance, and it’s time to get in on the action! Whether you’re a complete beginner or an experienced fermenter, there are plenty of delicious recipes and exciting projects to try. Join the fermentation revolution today and create your own flavorful and healthy fermented foods!

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Hi, I'm Jennifer! I love creating original and delicious recipes and sharing them here. I cook and photograph food with my husband Jeff in Boston.


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