Jonathan's Reviews > The Art of Fermentation: An in-Depth Exploration of Essential Concepts and Processes from Around the World

The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz
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's review
Dec 12, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: cooking, history
Read from May 23 to June 26, 2012

The Art of Fermentation is, as the title says, an in-depth exploration of the processes and concepts of fermentation. Sandor Katz covers various types of fermentation that cover a wide range of fermentables (vegetables, grains, etc) and a diverse geographic region. In many ways this is the encyclopedia of fermentation. It is an excellent resource for those who want to know more about the process and how fermentated foods are used around the world and for those who would like to take their own fermentation to the next level.

With that being said, this is not a beginner book. There are few traditional recipes of the "add X amount of salt to Y amount of water and use to very Z amount of vegetables, leave for N days". The methods are explained and from that someone who has made a couple of fermented foods such as pickles or sauerkraut could easily devise their own recipes. However, the lack of detailed example recipes could be daunting to a newcomer. Katz's previous book, Wild Fermentation is an excellent introduction for those new to this method of food preservation. Once you feel you're moving past the dishes presented in Wild Fermentation you're ready to jump to The Art of Fermentation!

EDIT 12/12/12: I'm not sure why I originally gave this book 2 stars. At first I wasn't thrilled, I expected more recipes, however as time as passed I find myself coming to the book more and more for ideas and inspiration when I want to try new things. My review above still stands - this is not a replacement for Wild Fermentation but it is an excellent next step once you're comfortable with the recipes/methods in that book.
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04/15/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Tom (new)

Tom Most helpful distinction between books. Thanks! Heard tail end of Fresh Air interview with Katz, and was eager to buy his new book, but you've convinced me, a brand-new newbie to fermenting, to start with the older book.

message 2: by Cole (new) - added it

Cole I agree. I own both books, and recommend "Wild Fermentation" for those who want to jump right in and start fermenting their own food.

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