451 met Sandor Katz ‘the Fermentor’ in a beautiful barn conversion deep in the Sussex countryside. Hosted by uber kitchen designer Johnny Grey, we had a sociable and informative day, met some interesting people and took away some sauerkraut we made ourselves – a perfect 451 event.
Sandor is a true evangelist for fermentation and he described how as a New York boy his love of sour garlicky pickles eventually led him on a journey of discovery of all products of fermentation and a desire to experiment. We talked about and tried various fermented products such as Natto – a pungent and unusual Japanese soy ferment and Kvaas a fermented beverage from Eastern Europe. We discussed sourdough starters and then had a delicious lunch of salami and cheese and pickles and all things fermented.
Michael Pollan gets it just right when he says that Sandor makes you want to try things to see what happens and you can see from the film that everyone got their hands dirty and indulged in the somewhat magical and serendipitous world of bacteria and microbial mystery.