Book Review: Everyday Fermentation Handbook
At Fermentools, we want you to have the best knowledge about fermenting foods as possible. That is why we like to share different resources with you. I hope you enjoy this review of The Everyday Fermentation Handbook: A Real-life Guide Fermenting Food without Losing Your Mind or Your Microbes.
Posted by Monica
Branden Byers, author and creator of the successful FermUp podcast series, has compiled all of his scientific and experiential knowledge into The Everyday Fermentation Handbook: A Real Life Guide to Fermenting Food without Losing Your Mind or Microbes. It is an excellent resource for your fermentation goals and projects. In his book, Byers takes on a practical approach to help you understand the basics of fermentation and feel confident in your creations. He excels in teaching the science behind fermentation—making it easy for “non-scientific” brains to comprehend!
The Everyday Fermentation Handbook is divided into two main parts: The Basics and Using Your Ferments.
The Everyday Fermentation Handbook
Part 1—The Basics
The Basics section contains six chapters to teach the basics of fermentation. Byers starts with a generic introductory chapter called “Fermentation 101.” He then takes you through commonly fermented food groups and teaches you how to perfect your recipes. You will understand the basics of fermenting with vegetables and fruit, dairy, grain, legumes, and beverages. He explains how to calculate the appropriate ratio of salt to water when you are exploring new recipes. He also shares 51 quality recipes. They include everything from sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha to ones like nukazuke (rice bran pickles), viili (Finnish heirloom yogurt), and amazake (sweet rice beverage using rice koji).
Part 2—Using Your Ferments
In this section of The Everyday Fermentation Handbook, Byers incorporates at least one recipe from the first part and transforms it into a more deluxe and filling recipe. He goes beyond simply eating raw ferments and creating side dishes. Byers actually teaches you how to cook with your ferments to broaden your taste preferences. He fears people will miss out on all the many new flavors that cooked fermented foods offer. The simple joy of tasting cooked fermented food in recipes far outweighs the occasional recipes where heating—and therefore killing good bacteria—are required. In this section, you will discover another 27 recipes including the Muffuletta Sandwich (filling that contains fermented giardinieras without the olives), steamed sauerkraut manti (dumplings filled with sauerkraut, feta, and onions), kombucha apple salad, PB&K (peanut butter and spicy kimchi sandwich), and chocolate berry cultured ice cream. Are you hungry yet?
And, There’s More!
If you decide that you love the taste of fermented foods, Byers encourages you to further explore the art of fermenting meats, cheese, and alcohol. There is a very large, never-ending world to explore when it comes to fermentation. At the end of the book, he shares a thorough list of culture starter suppliers and reading materials. You will also find a standard U.S. to metric conversion chart.
Should I Buy The Everyday Fermentation Handbook?
Byers’ writing style is easy to follow and it contains a lot of metaphors to help keep you on track. If you’re new to fermentation or love exploring the subject, I highly recommend reading his book. It’s hard to miss his genuine enthusiasm and passion for the history, science and culinary aspects of all things fermented.
Disclaimer: This book was purchased via Kindle Unlimited on Amazon and obtained for personal use. There was no compensation in exchange for this book review. All opinions are my own.
If you are just beginning your fermentation journey, and are unsure if it’s for you, try the Fermentools Starter Kit. Less expensive than a fermentation crock, the kit will turn your Mason jar into a fermentation vessel for a fraction of the cost.
Monica lives in rural Michigan on a small hobby farm with her husband, two children, seven mixed breed chickens, three silkies, three cats, two shetland sheep, and one dog. Her family is constantly pursuing a path towards compassion and healthy living. She blogs at Mommyandlove.com on all things motherhood, nature and vegetarianism.