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Fermentation—for Foodies: A WineSpeed Book Review

Fermentation; terroir. These two concepts are quite familiar to wine lovers. But René Redzepi and David Zilber, authors of The Noma Guide to Fermentation, aren’t talking about wine: they’re exploring the culinary cornerstone and culture of Noma, a world-famous three Michelin-star restaurant in Copenhagen, Denmark. The Noma Guide to Fermentation is both a cookbook—from vinegar and kombucha to fruits and veggies—and a sort of exposé into the wonderful world of ferments. “Fermentation knows no borders,” Redzepi writes in the introduction. “Without fermentation, there is no kimchi, no fluffy sourdough bread, no Parmigiano, no wine or beer or spirits, no pickles, no soy sauce.” (A world without these things seems drab, indeed!) The Noma Guide to Fermentation is split into essentially two overarching sections: a primer explaining fermentation and what you’ll need to begin fermenting foods in your own home—and the recipes themselves. I know lacto-fermented gooseberries and black garlic ice cream might seem bizarre. However, Noma doesn’t want them to be. This book aims to change how the world views fermentation—not as a Michelin-starred menu item, but as something that happens every day in individual homes and kitchens around the world. (SRM)

The Noma Guide to Fermentation by René Redzepi and David Zilber (2018; Artisan Books) $40 

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