Get our best content directly in your inbox
Sign up
aerial view on one blue collar worker stirring soy sauce in huge clay pod standing in a row
Podcast / The history of…
Podcast / The history of…

The secrets behind mankind’s fascination with fermentation

Throughout history, where there have been human beings, there has been fermentation.

Human beings have a long-standing fascination with fermented foods, the question is: why?

Fermented products are enjoying a huge boom at the moment, Kimchi, Kefir and Kombucha are all on the up.

But that is just the tip of the iceberg. The truly interesting fact is something like a third of all food consumed by humans is fermented.

Fermentation is used in the making of pickles, olives, bread, beer, wine, chocolate, coffee, vinegar, soy sauce – the list goes on.

And we have been doing it for thousands of years.

So, in this episode of the Food Matters Live podcast, we look at why humans ferment their food, find out about different fermentation methods, and ask what today’s food innovators are taking from this vast, rich tradition.

Eve Kalinik, Registered Nutritional Therapist, Author and Podcaster

Eve Kalinik is a registered nutritional therapist, author and podcaster. She regularly hosts workshops, talks, and retreats with corporate organisations, high profile media, brands and wellbeing companies.

She writes, and is often quoted, on the subject of food, nutrition and wellbeing for various media platforms.

Eve is a registered member of the IFM (Institute of Functional Medicine), British Association for Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy (BANT) and the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC)

Simon Poffley, Founder, The Fermentarium

Simon began his journey into fermentation when he found some old demi-johns in a shed of the Walthamstow garden flat he moved into in 2000. First came country wines made from locally-foraged blackberries, rosehips, dandelions and elderberries.

This led to full-mash beer brewing to create live bottle-conditioned ales, porters and stouts. A member of a couple of home-brew clubs he is now a certified beer judge (BJCP).

Having lived on rye breads in Germany, Russia and Poland, Simon was keen to escape the tyranny of Chorleywood bread and began to bake at home. From initial experiments with fresh yeast he moved onto sourdough.

He began selling at markets with the Hornbeam Bakers Collective in 2008 and was a regular stallholder at Growing Communities Farmers Market in Stoke Newington.

The Fermentarium is an independent organisation dedicated to promoting the small-scale production of “real” fermented food and drink.

Share this episode: