Ferments and Cultures


We recorded the live event and are editing the Tips for Filming your Ferments and Cultures video for distribution to all our program and event hosts working with confirmed and potential presenters. We also hope to create a guide that we intend to distribute to all program participants as well.

Our objective, described at length during the live event, is to get as many people as possible to view this really inspiring work. Hopefully you will enjoin what we call, as you will hear, a movement for food, land, and water equality and respect for the Earth as demonstrated through different cultures and areas around the world.


This program covers fermentation, preservation, increasing food resources, science, traditional and novel applications of microbes, food justice, soil development, farming, fungus and bacteria as environmental tools, waste management, land and water access and the preparation of food and drink through fermentation, preparation and cooking techniques. We recognize that some people are not actually interested in some of these topics, so we clearly make which videos are about fermentation, preparation and cooking techniques.

Event event has a specific focus often a geographic region that includes cultures, foods, drinks and techniques from Armenia, Georgia, Iran, China, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Russia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, India, Egypt, Chile, Israel, Finland, Denmark, China, Japan, Canada, Mexico, France, Norway, Sweden, South Korea, Palestine, and other African and South American countries countries and immigrant diaspora throughout the world including in the USA. 

Fermentations and Cultures Event Hosts: Payal Shah, Nickawanna Shaw, Marika Groen, Anton Nicola, Permian Khosravi, Ebonee McClurvey, Kirsten Shockey, Connie Chew, Dr. Johnny Drain, Maria Mantilla, Ken Fornataro, Alex Gunuey, Zoe Mitchell, Dave Smoke-McCluskey, Amy Kalafa, and Ed Ferrada.


All the Events

The events of this program serve as an education resource, and a guide to like minded individuals throughout the world. So if you have not requested an invitation to present at one of our events, or answered an invitation, would you please? To get a highly discounted Season Pass please go here.



Mara Jane King will not appear until our final event of the program, but you can still join her and Christine Ruch for a really super fundraising event! “In this time of reduced social interaction, the Festival brings people together over a topic that has everything to do with connection and community: food. Just as the food industry is reeling, the 501c3 nonprofit Flatirons Food Film Festival could also use your help. To enable the 2020 Flatirons Food Film Festival (Oct. 8-11) to contribute again to our country’s ongoing dialog about food, your support for fundraisers like this one is more important than ever. And what’s better than having fun while donating.”

Season Pass for Ferments and Cultures

For the first event of Ferments and Cultures on August 6 we are airing proprietary films, and a tutorial as well. Whether or not you can attend the live part of that event, people are not going to be able to access any of that after that event ends. This is being filmed, and will not be made available to the public until the end of the year. You can buy a Season Pass for all of the scheduled events. https://conta.cc/3k5Xp5V


Sesame shio-koji flatbread

Events in this program of 15 planned events will cover fermentation, preservation, increasing food resources, science, traditional/novel applications of microbes, soil development, farming, fungus and bacteria as environmental tools, waste management, and international cultures. Or just how someone feels about eating.

Each event has a specific focus often a geographic region that includes cultures, foods, drinks and techniques from Armenia, Georgia, Iran, China, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Russia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, India, Egypt, Chile, Israel, Finland, Denmark, China, Japan, Canada, Mexico, France, Norway, Sweden, South Korea, Palestine, and other African and South American countries countries and immigrant diaspora throughout the world including in the USA. 

Fermentations and Cultures Event Hosts are Payal Shah, Nickawanna Shaw, Marika Groen, Anton Nicola, Permian Khosravi, Ebonee McClurvey, Kirsten Shockey, Connie Chew, Dr. Johnny Drain, Maria Mantilla, Ken Fornataro, Alex Gunuey, Zoe Mitchell, Dave Smoke-McCluskey, Amy Kalafa, and Ed Ferrada. They facilitate what the program hosts,. and what they are into for the following events. There are many presenters in each category that will be announced ned as the event draws nearer.


Pickles from Petra and The Beast

Scheduled Events

Unless otherwise noted the 3 hour live part of each event takes place from 2:30 PM EST to 5:30 PM EST. That can change, and should be irrelevant in someone’s decision to participate in an event.

August 24 Koji Making and Pickles – Event Host Maria Mantilla(Presenters list in formation)

September 13 Fruits, Ferments, Probiotics – Event Host Amy Kalafa(Presenters list in formation)

September 22 French Ferments and Cultures – Event Host Alex Gunuey(Presenters list in formation)

September 28 The Silk Road to Palestine and Israel , including Armenia, Georgia, Iran,  Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, India (Halal and Kosher) – Event Host Peiman Khosravi(Presenters list in formation)

October 4 Africa, Alkaline Ferments, Black Soil – Event Host Ebonee McCorvey, Event Host Dr. Johnny Drain(Presenters list in formation)

October 12 Native American and Immigrant Roots (Asia, Africa, Europe, Scandinavia, etc.) – Event Host Dave Smoke McCluskey(Presenters list in formation)

October 25 Vegan Food and Drinks – Event Host Ed Ferrada, Event Host Kirsten Shockey (Presenters list in formation)

November 8 Indian Ferments, Preserves and Cultures Event Host Payal Shah (Presenters list in formation)

November 15 The Caucuses, The Balkans and Russia – Event Host Ken Fornataro (Presenters list in formation)

November 22 Sauces and Pastes (Koji or Enzymes) – Event Host Zoe Mitchell and Event Host Dr.Johnny Drain (Presenters list in formation)

December 4 Japanese Ferments and Cultures – Event Host Marika Groen(Presenters list in formation)

December 14 Baking with Koji, Malts and Syrups – Event Host Anton Nicola (Presenters list in formation)

December 22 Scandinavian Cultures – Event Host Nickawana Shaw(Presenters list in formation)

December 28 China and South East Asia – Event Host Connie Chew(Presenters list in formation)

Season Pass: Ferments and Cultures

All events have a full 7 day viewing period, including an edited recording of the live part of that event available a few days later if the quality meets our standards.. So there is no reason anyone that doesn’t work seven days in a row could not fully participate.

In other words, no one, including presenters or program hosts or event host has to be there during a specified time. That’s why you might want to consider a Season Pass.

A Season Pass is for the program and it’s 14 plus events. Plu. We can’t tell you yet what special adjunct things we have planed that are being worked on. Seasons Pass : https://conta.cc/3k5Xp5V

Season Pass Prices

There are 14 events that we will charge $35 per event to access the videos for seven days, and attend the live part or see an edited version. You can pretty much buy a $35 pass at anytime up to two days before the event actually ends. It would require many hours of video watching if you waited that long.

Depending on when you purchase a Season Pass, here are the prices:

* First tier Tickets: USD $157 until August 11 until at 11PM EST
* Second Tier Tickets USD $197 until August 21at 11 PM EST
* Third Tier Tickets USD $247 until 13 September 11PM EST

We will not keep track of what events you attend but will know if you show up. If you miss a specific event no recordings nor makeups after the 7 day period will be available. We will not refund a partial amount of the fee for any reason. You get no credit for a missed event, so should something become available in the future (see below), it would cost you.

If a Season Pass is of interest – we’ll throw in the August 6 event as well but that means you have roughly 48 hours to respond for that lagniappe – act now. If you are reading this after that date, you missed it. But a program or event host might make parts available to potential presenters.



Objectives

The special sessions we have planned will also serve as an education resource, and a guide to like minded individuals throughout the world. Obviously that will required data entry and communications time.

It seems that breakout groups with very specific interests always form when we have an event. This time, we have a protocol on how to make sure these last and become ongoing members of culturesgroup.

After the entire events are over we hope to create a book and a documentary for sale that benefits all the presenters and volunteer staff for the entire event. And, hopefully, those that participate will benefit from a higher profile, and possible sales.

So if you have not requested an invitation to present at one of our events, or answered an invitation, it would be helpful if you did so as lead time for these events is long.


Mailing List: https://conta.cc/30SSPiv


Ferments and Cultures


Event Registration: https://conta.cc/2X2xdzo

Events in this 15 part program will cover fermentation, preservation, increasing food resources, science, traditional/novel applications of microbes, soil development, farming, fungus and bacteria as environmental tools, waste management, and international cultures that include foods, drinks and traditions from Armenia, Georgia, Iran, China, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Russia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, India, Israel, Finland, Denmark, China, Japan, Mexico, France, Norway, Sweden, Korea, Palestine, African and South American and North American countries and indigenous people and immigrant diaspora throughout the world including the USA. 

The program Starts August 6 – Register here. You can register up until August 6th for the first event, but you should probably do it by August 4th! Thank You!

Jessica Alonzo of Petra and The Beast in Dallas, Texas demonstrates two types of rice amasake she uses based on what type of fruit or vegetable she is using. This is a great video, and a good example of one of the newer videos we are making of all presenters for the series. You record the raw footage, we edit and place titles, recipes, pictures of books or products, etc. Cucumber Kasuzuke from Petra and The Beast

This event includes some new videos edited from raw footage submitted by presenters. The third and last hour of the meeting 3PM to 4PM EST will be devoted exclusively to video making.  1 to 4 PM EST , August 6 Live Event. $30 USD Videos, and Chat in English, (preguntas y repuestas en Español en chat) Program Hosts and Presenters (both confirmed or invited) must ask for entry codes unless purchasing tickets.  Event Registration


Sesame koji paste for Armenia style flatbreads for our Silk Road, Halal and Kosher Event

24 hours before the event watch at https://conta.cc/2DfBTuI. The 3 hour live part of the takes place 24 hours after that start time of August 5, 1 PM EST. 

Go to registration page, purchase a ticket or use code to access. You’ll receive a passcode for the live event 24 hours before the event. 

In this 24 hour showing is the world premiere of the first five episodes of Season 1 of Cultured&Cured: Asian Fermentation with Chef Ken Fornataro



The last hour of the August 6 event: Video Presentation Assistance Q & A with award-winning TV producer, Amy Kalafa. How to create a video with recording tips from a professional. Join hundreds of presenters from around the world. 


Green Mango with Lime and Salt, and a ripe mango 2nd ferment Water Kefir

Events in this 15 part program will cover fermentation, preservation, increasing food resources, science, traditional/novel applications of microbes, soil development, farming, fungus and bacteria as environmental tools, waste management, and international cultures that include foods, drinks and traditions from Armenia, Georgia, Iran, China, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Russia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, India, Israel, Finland, Denmark, China, Japan, Mexico, France, Norway, Sweden, Korea, Palestine, African and South American and North American countries and indigenous people and immigrant diaspora throughout the world including the USA. 

Event Registration: https://conta.cc/2X2xdzo

Mailing List: https://conta.cc/30SSPiv


MushroomとSake Miso


味噌 (Miso made with sake and mushrooms)

  • 5 cloves or 25 grams fresh garlic smashed
  • 42 grams or 1 1/2 cups dried soaked and rinsed porcini mushrooms
  • 3 cups or 615 grams namasake (or just add 3 cups water and 2 TB vinegar)


Pour the sake onto the drained mushrooms and soak. Drain them by lifting lift them up like lettuce. Then, drain the liquid with a very fine sieve or tea strainer. Add the crushed garlic cloves. Boil the mixture down very slowly in a stainless steel or non-reactive pot to 1 1/2 cups or 275 grams.


  • 1 cup or 350 grams mellow white miso
  • 2 1/2 cups or 350 grams ground basmati rice koji (or another rice type)
  • 1 TB or 20 grams coarse sea salt


When the mixture has cooled to 140F mix the mushroom garlic mixture with the salt and ground rice koji. Mix very well. Let sit until room temperature then mix in the pre-made miso thoroughly.


Let sit 30 minutes to several hours at room temp. The mixture should be fairly loose but still capable of holding a ball shape.

Place in a glass tray, covered, and inoculate at 105 F for 48 to 72 hours.

Remove and let sit for 12 to 24 hours after stirring. Lasts indefinitely in the refrigerator fridge if you don’t get anything in it. You can use it right away or let it age for a few days.

It can also be aged at room temp (68 to 72F) for as long as you like. Pack like regular miso after adding a teaspoon of course salt and blending well.

Maple Syrup and Smoked Pomegranate Kvass


Organic beets. Do not discard the greens, including the stems.Do not discard anything you trim off, unless it is not organically grown. You only need the actual beet bottoms for these recipes, though.

Come and ask questions of two extremely skilled fermenters and cutting edge brewers, Chris Cuzme and Mary Izett. They create their brews at Fifth Hammer Brewing Company in Long Island City, where the event is taking place. Take a look at the menu!

The Event is January 27th, 7 to 9:30 Come ask questions about any of the recipes or methods used in this post about beets. Try some things that we made using enzymes, and yeasts starters. We’ll answer any question that you have about anything fermented. Plus, this is a #vegan event.


Pomegranate powder about to be incorporated into a smoky maple syrup and fennel seed beet base for a great probiotic drink. And for cockatils as well. Got shochu?

Smoked Maple and Pomegranate Beet Kvass

  • 425 grams washed and diced raw organic beets
  • 1250 grams of water (enough to cover the beets in a half gallon jar)
  • 1 to 2 tsp toasted fennel seeds
  • 30 grams coarse sea salt. Do not use fine sea salt for this. Kosher salt is okay.
  • 4 TB maple syrup
  • 4 TB pomegranate powder (or just add more maple syrup or molasses)
  • 1/8 tsp liquid smoke or ash. Do not use more. Add more when finished if you like.
  • 2 TB unpasteurized vinegar (apple cider vinegar with the mother, etc.)
  • 4 TB Pomegranate Molasses (or more maple syrup)
  • 1/2 cup sugar (organic, any type. If replacing maple syrup and pomegranate with dark molasses, use 1/2 cup more)

Mix everything together in a large bowl with gloved hands or a spoon. Otherwise, your hands will get stained. If you can’t get pomegranate powder or molasses use more maple syrup as indicated. You can also use organic dark brown sugar or organic molasses. The fennel seeds are essential, but can be replaced with anise seeds.

Other natural smoke flavorings or even smoked soy sauce or smoked salt can be used, sparingly. Smoked salt does not replace the coarse sea salt. Add some smoked salt to your kvass before serving if you like.

Ferment in an area where it is between 72 and 85F. It should take a week to ten days. If the temperature is lower, it will take at least 14 days before it is ready.


Put baby in the corner.


Shiso Leaf and Beet Kvass with pickled beets
  • 216 grams ( about 3 medium sized beets) raw organic beets. If not organic peel them. Otherwise after cutting into thick matchsticks wash them in cold water by rubbing them gently.
  • 1500 grams warm water. This will cover the beets that are placed in a well washed and sanitized half gallon glass jar.
  • 190 grams Shiso Vinegar*. Our Shiso vinegar has enough salt in it to act both as a starter culture, and as a deterrent to unwanted bacteria and yeasts. The base is an apple cider vinegar with lots of the mother in it. There are both yeasts and bacteria in vinegar.

Cover the jar tightly and shake. You could also dump the content of the jar into a bowl and mix them well. Then, put them back into the jar and cover with an airlock, or a tight lid. To be safe put the jar in a bowl or dish. If it looks like air is building up in your jar, loosen it to let it escape then retighten it.

This should be done in 5 to 7 days, but can go for two or three weeks if you like. Save the beets for a fantastic beet, pickle and apple salad. Or dress them with a miso dressing as a side dish. You can also start a new batch using the liquid if you like as a starter culture.

*Perilla vinegar substitute – You can use unpasteurized apple cider vinegar and mix in some umeboshi vinegar (about 1/4 cup), or use some shiso furikake (check the ingredients if you are a vegan) with vinegar and salt. You could also use vinegar, 3 TB of coarse sea salt and fresh dill or toasted dill seeds, or roasted black peppercorns.

The perilla vinegar could also be replaced with 40 grams of coarse sea salt. If you know beforehand then cut the beets thinner or into smaller pieces. Either way it should taste just a little salty at first, but not extremely salty.

Only salt will take about 2 weeks, but check it as you go along. Don’t stick unclean spoons, forks or fingers in your ferments.


Mother Sauces

Mother Sauces: Tomato

Classic French cooking has a long established tradition of using five sauces that pair with specific traditional ingredients. They are called mother sauces. If you were going to make a gratin of potatoes or macaroni and cheese, you would make a Béchamel sauce. If you added salt, pepper, nutmeg and Gruyere cheese to it a Mornay sauce was created – a child of Béchamel.

The five types are Béchamel, Velouté, Espagnole, Hollandaise and Tomato. We count Mayonnaise and Vinaigrette in with the Hollandaise since all three are emulsions of an acid base with fat that can be the start for thousands of variations.

Classifying something as a mother sauce is useful because it makes it easier to keep track of the variations. The French have a highly regarded cuisine, but so do the Chinese, Indians, Mexicans, Japanese, Italians and, really, every region and ethnicity throughout the world.

Sometimes, depending on what culinary tradition you were following, the classic mother sauce was made with rigorously chopped celery, carrots and onions (called a mirepoix), and aromatics. An aromatic could include almost anything like mushrooms, peppers, garlic, bacon, etc.

Defining specific techniques and defining basic preparations, such as what the mother sauces are, is what makes varying from these standards so important and interesting.

Today there are a lot more types of mother sauces, including jiangs. The Jiang category includes all kinds of legume based pastes, soy sauce, shoyus, misos, fermented grain or nut pastes. It also includes other protein rich sauces typically made from animals as in fish sauce, garums, and beef sauces.

The way we make any sauce today often ends up using concentrated essences and other ingredients that are easier and faster made with things like sous-vide cookers or pressure cookers. But they can also include short or long fermented ingredients based on jiang such as soy sauce or a fish sauce as mentioned above.

We also consider pestos, barbecue and dessert sauces as mother sauces.


Types

All of these sauces can actually be turned into something you are already familiar with. They are typically easy, and usually tastier than store bought. But you can make some part or all of them to make them your own. Or just add a dash of soy sauce or fish sauce to a store bought one.



We will explain how to make and use these all of them, classic and unique sauces, condiments and other things we consider essential items to have in your larder. You’ll learn how to cook and ferment everything as we go along, or at least become a better informed eater.

The French perfected the food preparation protocol of mise-en-place. It’s not like they invented it. It’s that they codified it, and described it. Everyone was pretty much taught that to make a basic Béchamel sauce you made a flout and butter mix and cooked that with milk.

The traditional French mother sauces are great classic sauces, but cuisine is being invented, reinvented and recycled all the time. We know so much more about what cultures around the world have been doing, sometimes for thousands of years, that it’s clear that the French way only way to create a mise-en-place.

Asian basic sauces including miso and soy sauces are now incorporated into all types of cuisines.


Mother Tomato

Here is how we make our classic tomato mother sauce. Remember that the more things a mother or base sauce contains, the less adaptable it will be. If you add meat or a specific spice to it, you can’t use it for a vegetarian dish or something that just doesn’t taste good with that spice.

Our tomato sauce is not very much like the French original but it’s uses are incredibly varied. You could just as easily make a concassé or a coulis from fresh tomatoes and herbs – we consider those more as vinaigrettes or pan sauces – but this sauce works for us.

The use of peppers makes this an ideal stepping off point for Cajun, Creole and other cooking styles, including Italian, Spanish and Indian cuisine.

Adding proteins such as peanuts, vegetable protein (TVP) make this a quick and fast meal sauce to have on hand. You could add ground meat or shrimp this, but we’ll exlan those sauces in upcoming posts.

Use toasted almonds or sunflower seeds for an equally tasty sauce. If you to go bean free skip the textured vegetable protein and use dehydrated tomato flakes, sun-dried tomatoes, or a cup of chopped carrots or parsley.

Regardless of whether you choose to add meat or a fish stock or lots of mushrooms, it will be tasty and last at least a few weeks. If the fennel bothers you add basil or some other spice. The variations are almost endless.

Remember that you can’t remove meat or anchovies or cheese or rosemary from a sauce, but you can always add things.


Dried fermented soybeans or shih, make a great base taste for tomato and other sauces. We make out own. You can buy them readily online on in Asian grocery stores. These are plain. Some are already seasoned. If you use pre-made seasoned ones, rinse and soak well before frying unless they suit the dish you are making.

Tomato Mother Sauce

  • 1 cup or 3.1 ounces or 88 grams TVP or protein substitute
  • 1 small or 1.5 ounces or 45 grams chopped yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup or 125 ml olive oil
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 4 TB or 1.4 ounces or 40 grams fermented black beans (shih)
  • 1 cup or 250 ml water or stock
  • 1 cup or 60 grams dried celery
  • 1/4 cup dried garlic chips
  • 1 cup or 84 grams dried peppers
  • 2 cups sake, white wine or stock
  • 2 TB dried oregano
  • 6 3/4 cups or 53 ounces or 1500 grams crushed plum tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup or 60 ml extra virgin olive oil

To make the sauce cook the textured protein and chopped yellow onion in the regular olive oil with the fermented beans and fennel seeds until golden brown. Add the water, then the dried peppers, garlic and onions. Add more sake, wine or stock and simmer for ten minutes.

Add tomatoes and oregano and simmer another 15 minutes, gently. Add a very small amount of salt and freshly ground pepper to taste, although it is not necessary. Add the extra virgin olive oil and any fresh, chopped parsley you like at the end after removing from the heat. Usually, we use a cup of parsley.

Put this tomato on sauce on rice, or spread on a pizza crust with cheese, or eat with toast on on vegetables. Mix it with beans and you have chili. Tempeh curry or parmesan with or without dairy or nut cheese is tasty!

We will publish several other basic recipes for tomato sauces. Each one will serve to illustrate why sauces typically vary depending on what you are going to cook in them, what ingredients you have at your disposal, what you are putting them on, blending them with, or how you will finish a dish right before serving.


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