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Fermented Spicy Pineapple Salsa

| 1/6/2017 9:59:00 AM


Fermented foods and beverages date back thousands of years. Some of the earliest texts, dating back to the Shang Dynasty of 1200-1046 B.C., show fermented beverages like herbal wines and fermented rice/millet being made. Much of the fermentation practices of centuries past were simply a means to preserve food for long-term storage. Today, the health benefits of consuming traditionally fermented foods are bringing them back into the limelight.

Fermentation happens when the bacteria (either naturally present on the food or from a culture that’s added) produce lactic-acid by “consuming” the sugar and starch present within the food. Once fermented, these foods contain various strains of beneficial bacteria which are known to promote good gut health and a feeling of satiety post meal. Because the bacteria that would normally cause spoilage are no longer present, foods become shelf stable for longer periods of time. (For more information on the process of fermentation and its benefits, read this post.)

Fermented beverages like kombucha, water kefir and milk kefir are becoming quite common on grocery store shelves (although it’s much more economical to make your own). Other fermented foods include yogurt, sauerkraut and kimchi. Did you know even meat can be fermented? The “old-school” way of preserving salami was actually fermentation! There are myriad of fermented foods available today, many that our Western culture is less accustomed to, but with all of the same benefits.

If you’re new to fermented foods I encourage you to start with something a little less “intimidating”. Jumping right in with stronger flavors such as Bagoong (fermented fish/shrimp), kimchi or even gochujang (a spicy Korean condiment) may stop you dead in your fermentation tracks. This recipe was one of the first ferments I made at home. It’s adapted from the Nourishing Traditions Cookbook by Sally Fallon and has a perfectly balanced taste that’s sweet, tangy and just spicy enough to keep you coming back for more.


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