×
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Forage, ferment, feast

Pooja Prabbhan takes a deeper look at the versatility of the fermentation technique and what it has to offer...
Last Updated : 13 July 2020, 19:15 IST

Follow Us :

Comments

As we get acquainted with the new normal, here’s a question that remains — does the ‘watch-your-stock’ memo also mean switching to a judicious way of consumption? Given how the popularity of a culinary trend largely depends on its feasibility, experts believe fermentation could witness a renaissance of sorts in the days to come.

“The focus on sustainability and produce from farmers directly to the plate are two of the biggest trends expected this year,” begins Chef Eliyaz, Chef de Cuisine, JW Marriott Hotel Bengaluru, adding, “Fermentation is an important part of these trends. Chefs across are utilising most of the items to ferment
using lacto methods majorly to try it on vegan foods and vegetables. Adding fermented foods to the dishes is a new thing which helps the chef to connect with their patrons. Also, I believe that kombucha would rage up with various options like sparkling kombucha, boozy kombucha, etc.”

One of the biggest pluses of the technique is that it helps build a favourable balance for the gut flora and hence overall physical well-being. “Fermented foods have a positive influence on the probiotic microflora thereby decreasing the toxic microbial activity of the pathogenic bacteria, which interferes in the
optimum absorption of nutrients from other foods. They come in various forms ranging from yoghurt to miso, sauerkraut to kombucha and soy sauce to shrimp paste,” maintains Vishal Atreya, Chef & Managing Partner, The Pump House.

With restaurateurs and food experts on a preservation overdrive, from purple potato to butternut squash and garlic, preserving and fermentation techniques can be used on myriad greens.

Prosciutto
Prosciutto

To master fermentation, you need to understand the science behind the chemical process, opines Chef Praveen Shetty.

“Fermentation is similar to anaerobic respiration — the kind that takes place when there isn’t enough oxygen present. Fermentation leads to the production of different organic molecules like lactic
acid, which also leads to Adenosine triphosphate, unlike respiration, which uses pyruvic acid.”

He further enthuses that in all the trending foods, fermentation plays a major role.

Kombucha and other fermented teas became popular a few years back. Once a chef starts to recognise the new layer of flavour that one can create through this ancient technique of preserving food, there’s no going back. “There are five basic tastes — sweet, salty, bitter, sour and umami (savoury). Fermented foods create the element of umami, to what you ferment, adding a different dimension to the dish,” says Vineet Manocha, Senior Vice President, Culinary, Lite Bite Foods.

Kimchi
Kimchi

Albeit, industry experts who thought it might have been a fad, expect it to become a staple in 2020.

“The fermented foods market is driven by the increasing awareness and growing interest in a healthy diet, development in technology, media coverage, and consumer demand,” states Chef Gopal Jha, Executive Chef, Novotel Mumbai Juhu Beach enthusing, “From old favourites like sauerkraut and kimchi to the recent introductions like kombucha, fermentation is making a comeback in 2020. People, today, are
always looking at healthy alternatives and fermentation is a natural process, which plays well into consumer expectations around clean labelling”. It also supports their desire to avoid the consumption of unnecessary additives and preservatives.”

Cured mackerel, grilled lettuce, grapefruit, black garlic, koji berry SOURCE - JW Marriott Hotel Bengaluru
Cured mackerel, grilled lettuce, grapefruit, black garlic, koji berry SOURCE - JW Marriott Hotel Bengaluru

Health benefits

Want to make your gut stronger? Switch to fermented foods, avers Praveen Shetty, Executive Chef, Conrad Bengaluru. “Fermented foods are rich in probiotics, beneficial microorganisms that help maintain a healthy gut so it can extract nutrients from food. Probiotics aid the immune system because the gut produces antibiotic, anti-tumour, anti-viral, and antifungal substances, and pathogens don’t do well in the acidic environment that fermented foods create.”

Increased enzymatic activity leads to better absorption of nutrients hence reducing dependency on supplements, believes Chef Vishal Atreya. “Fermented foods help restore the probiotic microflora in the gut hence aiding better digestion and increasing immune health. It also decreases toxin-producing pathogenic microorganism and adds complex taste notes to the dish being served,” he adds.

ADVERTISEMENT
Published 13 July 2020, 19:05 IST

Follow us on :

Follow Us

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT