Fermentation has been practiced since ancient times. It is not for nothing that no Slavic feast was complete without sauerkraut, cucumbers and tomatoes. In particular, because fermentation is a long and time-consuming process that does not require any modern products and technologies. The principle of fermentation is similar to pickling, only the acids that preserve the product are special
Fermentation has been practiced since ancient times. It is not for nothing that no Slavic feast was complete without sauerkraut , cucumbers and tomatoes. In particular, because fermentation is a long and time-consuming process, but does not require any modern products and technologies.
Fermentation in itself is a way, so to speak, of self-processing of food. At least, that's what they thought in ancient times. After all, how else could one explain the fact that vegetables did not rot when exposed to certain conditions, but only became more sour. And they could be stored for a very long time.
As it turned out during the following centuries in the course of research, fermented foods do not ferment themselves. All the credit goes to lactic acid bacteria, which feed on natural sugars present in products , and the result of the vital activity of these microorganisms is lactic acid. It is lactic acid that is harmful to harmful bacteria, putrefactive microorganisms, which lead to spoilage of products .
The task of fermentation is to provide the most favorable conditions for the "good" bacteria so that they process sugars into lactic acid before the harmful microorganisms become active.
Of course, just putting vegetables on the shelves is not enough for them to ferment. For fermentation , it is necessary to observe certain conditions that will ensure the correct flow of all enzymatic reactions.
You need to place the vegetables in the brine. This action will ensure the absence of oxygen during fermentation , which will protect the product from the penetration of bacteria from the outside.
Fermentation requires compliance with the temperature regime, optimally - from 18 to 22°С. At lower temperatures, fermentation slows down. At higher temperatures, butyric acid bacteria will start to work very actively, which will give the products an unpleasant rancid taste. Already after the fermentation process is completed, containers with products should be placed in a cold place, where all processes will slow down - for storage.
Products should be fermented in a salty environment, sometimes with the addition of sugar. Salt improves the preservation properties of products , and also slows down the development of the same butyric acid bacteria. You just need not to overdo it with salt, because it will not be fermentation , but pickling. And although the preservation properties will not suffer from this, the taste of the product will no longer be the same.
The more sugar in the product , the better it will ferment. After all, this means more food for the bacteria responsible for this process. That is why, for example, cucumbers for pickling are chosen by younger people, and cabbage by older people.
After fermentation , the properties of the products change quite a lot.
First of all, the taste is different. Sugars disappear, acid appears, which is why many people love fermented foods . Plus, salinity is increasing.
Also , during fermentation, many enzymatic reactions occur, which somewhat change the composition of biologically active substances in products . As a result, the nutritional value of fermented foods decreases somewhat. But in winter conditions, this is not so significant, since valuable vitamins in fermented vegetables are still stored in large quantities, because the products do not undergo temperature treatment during fermentation . After all, fermented vegetables are no less useful than fresh ones.
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Many products are suitable for fermentation . The most popular are cabbage, cucumbers, tomatoes. In addition, after certain processing, eggplants can also be fermented, and sometimes sorrel, carrots, beans, peppers, greens are fermented.
Kvass should be singled out as a separate item. Although it is a drink, and wort from bread or cereal crops is fermented in it, the processes involved in its preparation are the same as in the fermentation of cabbage. And the drink owes its taste to the high content of lactic acid.
It is best to ferment products in wooden barrels. Not only as a tribute to traditions. The wood of the barrel has a strong influence on the taste properties of fermented products . In the barrel, they turn out to be much more aromatic, with a brighter taste.
However, glass or plastic containers are quite suitable for fermentation at home. Especially if a small amount of the product is fermented .
Thanks to fermentation , you can get a tasty product , which will help not only to preserve products for a long time, but also to avoid winter vitamin deficiency.