Help us add detailed information with practical advice.  More categories will be added as necessary.

Special Thanks:

This page was created after the inspiring (and free) September 06, 2012 workshop (part of the "Chewing the Fat" series) guided by Yale Farm manager Jeremy Oldfield.  Outside, at the Yale Farm, near the bread-pizza oven, the group learned how to make a cabbage-based kimchi (using vegetables grown on the Yale Farm) and kombucha.  The workshop participants included Yale College students, Yale Forestry & Environmental Studies graduate students, students from the School of Nursing Midwifery program, Yale College alumni, Yale University staff, and a parent of a Yale alum.  Special thanks to Katie O'Shaughnessy (2012-2013 Lazarus Fellow in Food and Agriculture) for organizing and coordinating the afternoon event.

Fermentation & Pickling Experts:

If you have any questions about fermenting or pickling foods please contact Jeremy Oldfield.
Michael A, a YaleCooks member, ferments kimchi using his family's traditional Korean recipe.  Read Michael's general advice about fermentation and other recommendations (see "How to Make Kimchi", below).

If you are a member of the Yale community who also has experience with fermenting or pickling foods and you are willing to be listed on this site as a "fermentation-pickling expert" who is willing to answer questions or give advice please contact YaleCooks.  Thanks!

Annotated Internet Links:

1) [ We hope to get permission to share on this website the recipe-handout which Jeremy prepared for the group. ]
2) If you want to make kombucha use a simple green tea.  Some flavorings added to green tea are known to inhibit the bacteria-yeast found in the "scoby" (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast).

Recommended Cookbooks:


How Does Fermentation Preserve Food?

When properly done, food preserved via fermentation is safe to eat after storage in a cool place (eg. a root cellar) six months to a year.


Fermentation Warnings:

In the animated movie Ratatouille, Chef Gusteau's motto is "anyone can cook."  To be a good home fermenter you do not need a Yale degree in "Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry".  Many grandparents and great-grandparents learned to ferment without a college degree.

1) Fermentation is a lot safer than canning.  The bacteria which thrive under fermentation conditions are usually your friends!
2) Wash your hands, finger nails, and arms. Wear disposable gloves (vinyl is probably best).
3) If you keep a daily-weekly log of your fermentation observations your skills will increase quickily.

How to Make Kimchi:

1) Making homemade kimchi is a great way to learn how to ferment vegetables at home.  Thanks Michael A for describing the concepts used by his family to make traditional Korean kimchi!

How to Make Kombucha:

1) [ scoby: symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast ]

How to Make Kombucha:

1) [ scoby: symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast ]


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