Woman surrounded by vegetables and mason jars cuts a head of cabbage

The Magic and Art of Fermentation

Caroline Brain, founder of Kif Kefir Water, is deeply in tune with the funky act of fermenting. “For me, it’s a bit of a spiritual practice in fermenting something,” she says. You work on a ferment and then leave it, she says, coming back to it days or weeks — or maybe months or years later — to see what happened. “You never really knowing how it’s going to turn out.”

To her, it’s magic. “Fermentation is this almost wondrous process of transformation by microorganisms,” she says, explaining that they consume different carbohydrates, sugars, and starches in food, transforming them into something entirely new. It’s mystical for sure, but fermentation is also incredibly practical, and so is Caroline’s insight.

In this episode of Hear, Here, Caroline is fresh off the heels of a workshop at the LINE LA via Usal Project and joins Jack ready to teach. She walks us through how to get over the anxiety of DIY fermentation, gives us guidelines and a basic recipe for starting out, and shares wisdom on how consuming fermented foods and drinks supports our wellbeing.

While Caroline’s always been a fan of all things pickled, the depth of her knowledge grew out of necessity. “About 10 years ago, I was experiencing all these health issues that showcased themselves in different ways,” she says. After a load of doctor’s visits and medical research, she began to understand that her gut health was at the center of it all. 

“We’ve put so much emphasis on the brain in terms of it being the pillar to the body, but I think we’re now coming to understand that it could be the gut that is the bedrock to everything health-wise in our body,” she says. “The thing I want people to understand about gut microbiome health,” she continues, “is you want a diversity of microorganisms in your diet. And the only way to get a diversity of things is to consume a diversity of them.” 

Get to know even more in the episode above, and follow along with Hear, Here on Spotify.

Photo via Caroline Brain.

Los Angeles / Food & Drink / Voices
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