Fermentation Nation
Bon Appétit|February 2017

What do labneh,kimchi,kombucha,soysauce,and salami have in common? They’re all infinitely more delicious -not to mention nutritious-thanks to old school curing, pickling,and aging techniques.We cataloged 258 eclectic ferments from 22 restaurants around the country.Here’s a taste of our favorites.

Ashley Mason

1 SEEDY CHARACTER

At the Restaurant at Meadowood in Napa, these plump, fermented okra seeds make diners do a double take. Chef Christopher Kostow presents them in a delicate dish as a kind of faux caviar, alongside blinis, crème fraîche, and sliced fish. Not only is it a playful visual trick, but it’s a way to make the most of okra’s starchy texture at the end of the season. “For us, fermenting is a natural byproduct of having a farm,” Kostow says. He soaks the seeds in salty water (a simple process known as lacto-fermentation) until they’re firm and slightly tangy, then folds in a thick okra stock to bind the little beads together so they look like real caviar.

2 MELON BALLER

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