Kombucha, tempeh, kimchi, oh my! While fermented foods are nothing new in the kitchen, fermented fare—in which sugars are converted into acids, gases, or alcohol to produce tangy or fizzy flavours and good-for-you probiotics in the process—is experiencing a revival in Vancouver as of late.
In fact, vinegary food and beverages such as sauerkraut, pickles, and vegan cheeses have been such a hit among the general population that a group of fermenting fanatics have decided to launch Ferment Fest Vancouver, a festival celebrating the wonderful variety of locally made, fermented goods the city has to offer.
“We realized that, in Vancouver, there’s a growing trend with fermented foods,” Richard Chen, co-organizer of Ferment Fest and business-development manager at Vancouver’s Tempea Natural Foods, tells the Straight by phone. “And we wanted to pull everyone together and see if we could make a movement out of it.”
Taking place this Sunday (October 22) at the Creekside Community Centre Recreation Centre, the inaugural event will feature 14 fermented-food-and-beverage vendors from B.C. There, they’ll be hawking edibles such as vegan cultured-cashew spreads and dips; soy-free soy sauces; and small-batch shrubs or drinking vinegars.
Other available items will include hibiscus-flavoured water kefir, a priobiotic-packed bevvie similar to kombucha; IPA-spiked sweets (fermentation is involved in the production of both beer and chocolate); and tempeh, a fermented soybean product that may be enjoyed in a myriad of ways. Attendees will be able to sample these food and drinks during Ferment Fest.
“There’s actually a whole spectrum of different kinds of fermentation methods, different kinds of ingredients that you can ferment, fermentation styles, and organisms,” says Ariela Badenas, co-organizer of Ferment Fest and cofounder of Tempea Natural Foods.
“We want to introduce Vancouver to all of these products,” adds Chen. “And we want to get people to eat more fermented foods because they’re good for you and just really, really good stuff.”
Guests will also have the chance to speak with local fermentation pros and sign up for DIY fermentation classes that will take place at a later date. Admission is $3.
Check out the full list of vendors participating in the first-ever Ferment Fest Vancouver below.
Spread ’Em Kitchen Co.
Squamish Water Kefir
Tempea Natural Foods
Van Koji Foods
Mixers and Elixirs
Alice Savage Wild Fermentation
Nut Tree Café
The Good Chocolatier
Pure Earth Superfoods
Ferment Fest Vancouver takes place at Creekside Community Recreation Centre (1 Athlete’s Way) on October 22 from 12 to 5 p.m. See event listing for details.More