Suddenly Sauer: Preserving Food and Tradition in a Modern World

fresh turmeric root
February 4, 2010, 1:03 am
Filed under: food, Uncategorized

if you’ve never had it, it’s time to try it.

mind you, this deviates a fair bit from my usual agenda of local, and seasonal, but this one extra special ingredient has me captivated.

I spent a day at the “Cultured Pickle Shop” in Berkeley, CA in December, and I tasted a little slice of heaven, in the form of my new favorite pickle: mustard greens with turmeric root, fennel, and garlic. The pungent tumeric and mustard greens were pleasantly offset by the sweetness of the fennel seeds, and the whole bundle was sour, delicious, and a beautiful tinted orange.

I’ve started a small batch of my own, which I prepared like sauerkraut– salted 1 bunch of mustard greens with 1 Tbs salt until they wilted and began to exude juices, then added shaved turmeric root (about 1 inch) chopped garlic (2 cloves) and fennel seeds (1tsp). The whole thing is packed in a jar with a water seal and is sitting in the cupboard next to my refrigerator. So far, it’s too salty and the flavors taste immature. I’m letting it continue to ferment, hoping that if I let the sauerness develop the leaves won’t become too chewy to enjoy.

In the meantime, I’m using the rest of my turmeric root tossed with olive oil, onions, garlic, and some cubed Japanese sweet potatoes, sprinkled with apple cider vinegar. The Japanese sweet potatoes, procured from the Holtz brother’s market stall at Eastern Market, are the sweetest creamiest, just like the farmer’s themselves promised. This is my second time making this dish. It is definitely a keeper.


1 Comment so far
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Hey B-Bear. Just me again. That turmeric pickle sounds BOMB. I actually recently tasted my sauerkraut experiments that I started the day you were at Cultured, and I have to say the best was the cabbage-curry-hot pepper one. Well, I guess that’s about it. You can throw me a little bone if you want to come leave a small comment on my blog too. But no presh.

Comment by uriel

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