This is a book review of Fermented Vegetables: Creative Recipes for Fermenting 64 Vegetables & Herbs in Krauts, Kimchis, Brined Pickles, Chutneys, Relishes & Pastes by, Kirsten K. Shockey and Christopher Shockey.
Book Review of Fermented Vegetables:
This book takes you on a fermenting journey like you have never seen before. The way the writers describe the flavors of fermented food makes my mouth water.
Kirsten and Christopher share their story of how they got started fermenting. It is an amazing story, that I loved reading more than once.
After they started fermenting they took their ferments to the farmer’s market and they were ever so popular.
They even thought about going commercial but decided in the end that was not going to produce the amazing individual batches of ferments that were so popular, fun, and experimental.
Local economy and vegetables…
I love how they would work with local farmers, using up just about anything they had.
Especially, when the farmer needed certain items taken off of their hands because they had too many. It seems like they came up with a lot of really cool new ferments that way.
Customers at the farmer’s market seemed to like the new flavors too! They used seasonal and local vegetables for their ferments. Which is great for local economy!
The Importance of Salt in Fermenting
This book is not just about their story though it is much more. They offer a ton of awesome recipes and tips. If you’re just getting started, this is a great book to help you start your first ferment!
One of the very important things that this book discusses is salt. It goes into detail that I have not read anywhere else.
At some point when you’re fermenting, you have to realize the salt comes in different varieties and can affect a ferment negatively or positively. You must have the right kind of salt.
This guide is really great for understanding which salts are perfect to use in fermenting.
What Beginners can Look Forward to in this Book
If you’re looking to make sauerkraut, pickles, or kimchi there’s a whole chapter teaching you how to do just that.
This chapter offers great tips for beginners, and there are several recipes too.
This book also introduced me to a whole new world, by that I mean I had no idea you could ferment pastes and herbs.
There are so many ideas here I wish I had more time to play around with all these great new ideas floating around in my head.
I made fermented mustard for my child who loves mustard. Yes, that happened and he loved it, more than yellow mustard or spicy mustard, bought at the store. It was so easy to make too.
Great Tutorial-Style Photos
The photos in this book are beautiful and stunning. They’re also used in a great tutorial-style way, in the recipes which are fabulous for beginners.
This really helped me when I was first starting out in the fermenting world. I truly appreciated the simplicity of the recipes.
Preserving food made easy! Reading this book you will see that it will state everything in great detail in the chapter.
Then it will put all of the tips discussed in nice little bullet points. To top it off you then can see the tutorial-style pictures with simple directions.
This is truly a great way to learn. I love the bullet points because it makes it quick and easy when making a recipe, to remember the important tips discussed in the chapter.
Vessels were discussed in great detail. I think that is important because not everyone agrees on one method.
Different people have their favorite ways to ferment vegetables. It seems that a crock may be a favorite for the authors.
Mine happens to be airlocks. I tried crocks before, it was very early on but I could not make a batch that was not moldy in a crock.
It may be the weather or the home I was living in possibly. I have found it much easier to use airlocks and mason jars.
I also like making smaller batches mostly because if it does mess up I am not having to throw away $40 or so worth of food.
Although many people are super successful with crocks and you may be too.
Great Troubleshooting Guide
Speaking of trouble, this book has a great troubleshooting guide. If we are all being real here, things happen.
Sometimes things happen, and we have to understand if it is truly bad. Such things as smells, films on top, slimy things, soft foods, and so on.
I don’t know where I would be without such a great guide. I may have thrown out some perfectly good food had I not read it.
Brine oh Brine…
Brine is talked about a lot in this book, For some, it may be a fairly new word.
You probably already knew that it was a salt and water combination used to create the perfect environment for the ferment.
Getting to know the lingo is one of the first steps to learning a new skill such as fermenting.
Water Quality Matters Too
One thing that’s only barely mentioned it seemed was water.
Unchlorinated spring water was suggested and I do love using spring water in my ferments, but there are plenty of other options.
Many of these other options show up in recipes you might find elsewhere.
When this book spoke on salt and the varieties it went through all of them and taught us how they affect our ferments.
I would have liked to see this done with water also. Spring water seems to work just fine in my ferments, but I know a lot of people use filtered water.
Also, if your water is chlorinated you should boil it to remove chlorine.
Make sure to let it cool before using it in ferments! Another question I have seen is, “Can you use well water?”
I assume you would want to get it tested, just to make sure there are no contaminants in the water that may negatively affect the ferments.
I have heard of some successfully using their well water for fermenting, but not all well water is the same.
Would I Recommend this Book?
In conclusion, this book is fabulous whether you are just getting started or in need of some new ideas or recipes.
I would gift this book to any friends who want to start fermenting. I have to say it was the best book I read last year.
This book can be found on Amazon. I have a copy on my kindle.
I’d like to have a hard copy too. Just so I can hold it and love it. It is a beautiful book I would love to keep it on display on the counter in my kitchen.
Thank you for reading the book review. I hope that you found it helpful. Check out the book on Amazon.
Check Out Some Fermenting Recipes
- Fermented Cherry Tomatoes
- Fermented Bell Peppers
- Fermented Carrots with Garlic
- Fermented Garlic
- Fermented Pickles
- Fermented Sauerkraut
- How to Make Water Kefir
- Water Kefir Vacation
- Water Kefir Almond Cream Soda
- Pineapple Chutney
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