Sunday, November 7, 2021
For the past two decades, fermentation expert and bestselling author Sandor Katz has traveled the world, teaching and learning about the many fascinating and delicious techniques for fermenting foods. Wherever he’s gone, he has gleaned valuable insights into the cultures and traditions of local and indigenous peoples, whether they make familiar ferments like sauerkraut or less common preparations like natto and koji. Coinciding with the publication of his latest book, Sandor Katz’s Fermentation Journeys, he revisits these special places, people, and foods.
Monday, November 8, 2021
Fermenters new and old wrestle with how best to comply with the myriad health and safety regulations that affect their products. Hear from experts in the field as they suggest they best ways to make this compliance process as easy as possible, and also to suggest how the regulatory landscape could be improved in the future.
Highlight techniques being used to identify the microbial diversity in a range of fermented foods. What approaches are being used to influence the flavors and textures of fermented foods?
Lack of consumer understanding of fermentation and its flavor and health attributes is consistently cited by producers the top obstacle to increasing sales and acceptance of fermented product. On this panel we bring together producers, scientists, retailers, and journalists to discuss ways to better educate the (potential) customer.
This year, two articles helped propel a conversation on diversity among fermenters: Miin Chan's Eater article "Lost in the Brine" (which explores cultural appropriation in fermentation) and Jiayang Fan's New Yorker piece "The Gatekeepers Who Get to Decide What Food is 'Disgusting'" (which highlights how Westerners' views of "disgusting" food require immigrants to assimilate to local food culture). Listen to these two writers and a trio of BIPOC producers as they debate the topics of diversity and cultural appropriation among fermenters, and discuss who gets to determine what "tastes good."
Tuesday, November 9, 2021
What is a probiotic? What do we currently know about how probiotics can benefit human health? What are similarities and differences between probiotics and the microbes in fermented foods?
A dialogue around the tension between how producers would like to describe and market their goods versus what claims meet scientific thresholds and parameters for, among other things, consistency and documentation.