Cooperative Extension to host class on fermenting on Sept. 10

Published 8:00 am Thursday, August 30, 2018

The North Carolina Cooperative Extension will offer a fermentation workshop at 2 p.m. Monday Sept. 10, at the Polk County Extension Center.

Another will take place at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 11, at the Henderson County Extension Center.

Both workshops cover the same material. The class will cover safe methods the fermentation process, including how to make sauerkraut, kimchee, yogurt and kombucha.

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Fermentation is the process of using microorganisms, such as bacteria or yeast, to convert carbohydrates to alcohol or organic acids under anaerobic conditions. Fermentation is a food preservation method has a very long history, perhaps as long as 12,000 years.

Cheese, yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchee, olives, salami, jerky and bread, as well as beverages such as hard cider, wine, beer and coffee were all produced by the fermentation process.

Some fermented foods have been critical to the food culture of a country or region, like yogurt in the Middle East, sauerkraut in Germany and fermented sausages in Italy.

There are several health benefits to fermenting food. First, fermentation serves to enhance the digestion of food.

Sauerkraut is also a good source of vitamin C in the winter.  Probiotic yogurt is extremely high in calcium, zinc, B vitamins, probiotics and protein.

In other words, fermented foods are filled with beneficial bacteria that work as reinforcement for the good bacteria in the digestive system. Since 70 percent to 80 percent of the immune system lies in the gut, having proper balance of gut flora is important.

There is a fee for the class. For more information on the workshop, people may contact Jimmi Buell at the Polk County Extension Office at 828-894-8218, or Renay Knapp at the Henderson County office at 828-697-4891.

– Submitted by Jimmi Buell