cover image Sandor Katz’s Fermentation Journeys

Sandor Katz’s Fermentation Journeys

Sandor Ellix Katz. Chelsea Green, $35 (368p) ISBN 978-1-64502-034-9

From Myanmar, where palm tree sap is transformed into wine, to Greenland, where seabirds are aged in seal skin, James Beard Award–winning author Katz (The Art of Fermentation) documents the joys, quirks, and health benefits of fermentation in all its global variety. This encyclopedic cookbook-cum-travel memoir provides 60 recipes that are seeded within a broader discussion of regional techniques and traditions, peppered with profiles of the experts and eateries discovered by Katz on his voyages. The collection begins with simple sugars used to create tasty quaffs like turmeric mead and the Mexican pineapple drink tepache. A section on vegetables offers Chinese pickles and Croatian kraut, while a chapter on mold cultures puts the “fun” back in fungus with tapè, an Indonesian dessert made from fermented sticky rice using fungal starters. Some of the most surprising treats come from the U.S., including fermented salmon heads (known as “stinkheads”) in Alaska, and a garlicky beet kvass from Ohio’s Fab Ferments called Bubonic Tonic. Home cooks should be armed with multiple cooking vessels, storage jars, and, most of all, patience, as the aging process for many of these recipes takes days, weeks, or even months. This international romp is funky in the best of ways. (Oct.)