I found myself talking to someone about the fermented vegetables I was making the other day. I was surprised at how tasty they turned out. I really like them. Unfortunately, I also find myself thinking, “Eww ick,” each time I take the jar out to have some. It’s only upon the first few bites that I am reminded that this is a flavor I am really liking. There is something psychological that holds me back about the idea of eating something naturally fermented.
I have no such issues with wine, which is also fermented. I am not a fan of sauerkraut, so no doubt that creates my own thoughts about fermented foods.
My husband does this with raw milk. He shudders whenever he sees me drinking it. The other morning he was out of milk and wanted cereal. His choices were to get dressed and run to the store and get “real” milk (the irony here is that he drinks pasteurized 1% milk) or use some of mine. He went for the easy choice and ate with “raw” milk. He’s still alive but didn’t like the thick consistency of the whole raw milk that I purchase.
When I talk to people about fermented vegetables they all get the same look I know must be on my face when I think about them. The various Real Food Media Blogs even have posts about how sauerkraut is not the only fermented food! It’s the only one we think about. Of course, mass processed sauerkraut isn’t even fermented naturally any longer.
For hundreds of years, fermenting food was a way in which people preserved their foods for use later on. There was no refrigeration. It is also healthier for our body. Raw milk has more nutrients in it than the 1% my husband prefers.
I see our attitudes towards these real food items as a disconnection between what our bodies really need and what the media and our culture tells us is good. At some point we need to make a choice for health and sometimes we’ll have to confront those issues head on. Like me, maybe you’ll even be surprised bite after bite at how good your fermented food really is!
After I wrote this a few days ago, I noticed in that Cheeseslave has a great article that talks more about the benefits of raw milk and fermented foods. Check it out.