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The Art of Fermentation: An In-Depth Exploration of Essential Concepts and Processes from around the World [Kindle Edition]

Sandor Ellix Katz , Michael Pollan
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (212 customer reviews)

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Book Description


Winner of the 2013 James Beard Foundation Book Award for Reference and Scholarship, and a New York Times bestseller, The Art of Fermentation is the most comprehensive guide to do-it-yourself home fermentation ever published. Sandor Katz presents the concepts and processes behind fermentation in ways that are simple enough to guide a reader through their first experience making sauerkraut or yogurt, and in-depth enough to provide greater understanding and insight for experienced practitioners.

While Katz expertly contextualizes fermentation in terms of biological and cultural evolution, health and nutrition, and even economics, this is primarily a compendium of practical information—how the processes work; parameters for safety; techniques for effective preservation; troubleshooting; and more.

With two-color illustrations and extended resources, this book provides essential wisdom for cooks, homesteaders, farmers, gleaners, foragers, and food lovers of any kind who want to develop a deeper understanding and appreciation for arguably the oldest form of food preservation, and part of the roots of culture itself.

Readers will find detailed information on fermenting vegetables; sugars into alcohol (meads, wines, and ciders); sour tonic beverages; milk; grains and starchy tubers; beers (and other grain-based alcoholic beverages); beans; seeds; nuts; fish; meat; and eggs, as well as growing mold cultures, using fermentation in agriculture, art, and energy production, and considerations for commercial enterprises. Sandor Katz has introduced what will undoubtedly remain a classic in food literature, and is the first—and only—of its kind.

Editorial Reviews


"Katz takes fermentation down to the molecular level while keeping it conversational and accessible to the generalist. Fermentation foodies will be ecstatic." ---Library Journal

About the Author

Sandor Ellix Katz is a self-taught fermentation experimentalist and the author of The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved: Inside America's Underground Food Movements.

Sean Crisden is a multitalented actor and an AudioFile Earphones Award–winning narrator who has recorded audiobooks in almost every genre, from science fiction to romance. He has also voiced characters in numerous video games and appeared in many commercials and films, including The Last Airbender.

Product Details

  • File Size: 23011 KB
  • Print Length: 531 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 160358286X
  • Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing (June 28, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0083JQCF2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,596 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
383 of 387 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Introduction To Post-Pasteurianism May 14, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
First off: this book is beautiful. Hardcover, with a series of full-color plates 1/3rd and 2/3rds through. For only twice the price of a flimsy paperback, you're investing in five hundred solidly-constructed pages that will last.

And a good thing, because this book is destined to be a classic.

You don't need to have read Katz' other work, Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods, to understand, appreciate, and use this book - it stands alone. If you already own Wild Fermentation, don't be put off by the duplication of some recipes in the Table of Contents. Yes, sauerkraut, kimchi, and pickles are in here, but every section is greatly expanded with much more information and many more references. (Ever thought of using a layer of cooking oil as an airlock? Neither had I, but I'm going to try it!)

Speaking of references... the Resources, Glossary, and Works Cited chapters could keep you busy for a few years.

And yes: you will use this book. As Michael Pollan states in the well-written foreword, this is not one of those cookbooks you buy for the nice pictures and keep on your coffee table. This is a project manual. Fermentation is something you have to experience to understand, and Katz give you absolutely everything you need to get started. The first 67 pages are devoted entirely to the beginner, focusing not on specific recipes but on answering the inevitable questions: "WHY would I want to ferment food? is it safe? what equipment and general expertise do I need?
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333 of 339 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Art of Fermentation vs. Wild Fermentation May 25, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
There have been several excellent reviews that list the strengths of The Art of Fermentation. I can only add one thing - the author does an excellent job of citing his sources. I really appreciate that he does so - it allows me to go back and check for new, updated research and expand my reading. I particularly appreciate this in his section on fermentation and health. He adamantly does not claim fermented foods area a panacea and is skeptical of some of the touted benefits of various foods (kombucha as a cure for diabetes, for example). He argues, quite successfully, that fermented foods have their place in a well balanced, healthy, diet and provides the studies, traditions, and first-hand knowledge that demonstrates why.

For those who are wondering which book would be the better choice, this book is not just an expanded version of Wild Fermentation. It's a different take on the subject that goes in depth in the process and concepts behind fermentation. Many different types of fermentation using different bases - grains, vegetables, fruit, etc - are explored. Be aware that this is not a cookbook or an introductory text, however. Traditional recipes are scarce. If you are looking for "add X tablespoon of salt to Y amount of cabbage" you will be disappointed. If you want to know about different fermentation methods used around the world so you can branch out in your own culinary experiments, this is the book for you.

If you're an absolute novice, Wild Fermentation is probably the better starting place. It gives recipes and walks you through the steps more than The Art of Fermentation. Once you've made a few things and want to know more, the Art of Fermentation will really come into it's own!
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222 of 225 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Book on Fermentation Currently Available May 14, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Fermentation was frankly something I had little to no experience or interest in until a few years ago....even then it was a slow progression. For health reasons (we're not getting any younger) we started taking an active interest in food - both the quality of the food and the preparation practices. The more we learned, the more we started cooking, baking and making our own food.

Bread was perhaps one of the very first things we took the time to make from scratch and soon the bread baking became a weekly tradition. Fresh baked bread is so delicious, warm and comforting. Of course, that led to grinding our own flour and since bread is so much like beer - my spouse began experimenting with home brewed beer and wine and even soda. It wasn't long before something always seemed to be brewing in the kitchen and at least one of us, was quickly becoming a fermentation fan.

Over those few years, our diet, shopping habits, food choices and preparation methods changed fairly radically from what we had thought was a decent diet to an all organic, homemade diet with local produce when possible. It was during that time I started hearing more and more about the benefits of fermentation of other foods - but frankly, not having grown up around anything remotely related to food preparation, I had no idea what was/wasn't fermented. In fact, I thought pickles were always made with vinegar and canned - I had no idea they were fermented. Ditto for sauerkrout or oodles of other items. Somewhere along the line, I came across Sandor's first book on fermentation and purchased it. It was NOT love at first fact, after the first read, I thought it sounded horrible (rotted food?!) and set it aside for at least another year.

Then by chance, I happened to taste some REAL pickles..
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow, what an informative book
Wow, what an informative book, but if you are starting out in brewing, then you will want a basic how-to-book as well.
Published 7 hours ago by Jeffrey S. Brooks
5.0 out of 5 stars What a delightful book!
I must admit that fermentation was one of those things that I was certainly aware of, but had never really thought about deeply before. Read more
Published 1 day ago by bill gonch
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
much more information than I was looking for.
Published 9 days ago by Thomas D. Barnes
3.0 out of 5 stars Informative
I kept reading about fermentation, when I was reading about nutrition. I wasn't sure exactly what it was, now I have a good amount of knowledge on fermentation. Read more
Published 24 days ago by Buzz
5.0 out of 5 stars Enriching
This book gives you the foundational knowledge to explore, rather than a specific path to follow. It introduces you to endless opportunities to enrich your life.
Published 1 month ago by John Duke
5.0 out of 5 stars If you are wanting to get into fermentation, this is a great book
This really is one of the best books on the how to and whys of fermentation. If you are looking just for recipes though, this is not the book for you. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Karen W.
Anything and Everything you ever want to know about Fermenting is in this book. The information Sandor Ellix Katz has to share takes away any fear that one might have when it comes... Read more
Published 1 month ago by R. Cummins
4.0 out of 5 stars bubble on...
this book is packed with information. it covers many cultures and styles of fermentation. it can be a little intimidating, but not overwhelming. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Tracey MacRae
5.0 out of 5 stars Great information
This is a great book if you'd like to know the background and history of fermentation. It makes you want to try more and more.
Published 1 month ago by Sylvia
5.0 out of 5 stars Great reference book!
This book covers all sorts of fermented foods (with a few related topics). It focuses more on the culture behind the fermentation, why it is healthy to eat, and how the... Read more
Published 1 month ago by A. Vaughn
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More About the Author

Sandor Ellix Katz is a self-taught fermentation experimentalist. He wrote Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods (Chelsea Green, 2003)--which Newsweek called "the fermenting bible"--in order to share the fermentation wisdom he had learned, and demystify home fermentation. Since the book's publication, Katz has taught hundreds of fermentation workshops across North America and beyond, taking on a role he describes as a "fermentation revivalist." Now, in The Art of Fermentation, with a decade more experience behind him, the unique opportunity to hear countless stories about fermentation practices, and answering thousands of troubleshooting questions, he's sharing a more in-depth exploration of the topic. Katz is also the author of The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved: Inside America's Underground Food Movements (Chelsea Green, 2006).


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