Humans have always savored the distinctive flavors and reaped the health benefits that result when microscopic bacteria and fungi transform our fresh foods into fermented ones. But as the American food system industrialized, most people became disconnected from and suspicious of the mysterious process by which many of our favorite foods—including bread, cheese, wine, beer, coffee, and chocolate—are created. In 2003, noted fermentation enthusiast Sandor Katz reminded us of the transformative, transcendent power of fermentation with his landmark book, Wild Fermentation. This summer, a second edition of the first cookbook to widely explore the culinary magic of fermentation is being published by Chelsea Green Publishing. The book launch will be held at Sterling College on Friday, August 12, at 7 pm in Simpson Hall, Classroom 3.
This book launch is free and open to the public. Sandor Katz will sign copies of the second edition of Wild Fermentation, which will be available for sale at the event.
Wild Fermentation updates the nearly 100 recipes in the cookbook, for dishes such as sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, yogurt, pickles, kefir, and more. “Fermentation has been an important journey of discovery for me,” writes the James Beard Foundation award winner Katz. “I invite you to join me along this effervescent path, well trodden for thousands of years yet largely forgotten in our time and place.” Sally Fallon, the author of Nourishing Traditions, said of Wild Fermentation: “Sandor Katz has labored mightily to deliver this opus magnum to a population hungry for a reconnection to real food.”
Sandor Ellix Katz is a fermentation revivalist. A self-taught experimentalist who lives in rural Tennessee, his explorations in fermentation developed out of overlapping interests in cooking, nutrition, and gardening. Both Wild Fermentation, originally published in 2003, along with his The Art of Fermentation (Chelsea Green, 2012) have helped to catalyze a broad revival of the fermentation arts. Newsweek called Wild Fermentation “the fermenting Bible,” and The New York Times calls Katz “one of the unlikely rock stars of the American food scene.”
In early August, Katz will return to Sterling College to teach the two-week short course “The Art of Fermentation” as part of the School of the New American Farmstead. The course is a hands-on exploration of the production of fermented vegetables, fruits, grains, and beans. Students will connect with traditional foodways across a range of cultures and experience transformative, health-giving power of beneficial microbes.
The vibrant working landscape of Vermont has been the inspiration for Sterling College’s curriculum for a half century. Sterling’s sustainable agriculture and land management programs were among the first in the nation. The School of the New American Farmstead at Sterling College connects the College’s mission of environmental stewardship education by linking ecological principles of land management with the entrepreneurial community-building spirit of today’s artisan food movement.
The School of the New American Farmstead programming is generously supported by Chelsea Green Publishing, the preeminent publisher of books on the politics and practice of sustainable living. Chelsea Green, an independent publishing company, works with authors who bring in-depth, practical knowledge to life. Their titles provide readers with accessible and implementable knowledge about subjects at the heart of the Sterling College curriculum: organic farming and gardening, permaculture, ecology, the environment, simple living, food, green building, sustainable business and economics, among others. Many of the School of the New American Farmstead’s esteemed instructors are authors of widely read Chelsea Green titles.