School never did interest me very much. Well, the learning aspect of the education system never did anything for me. Some will argue that not everyone learns in the same way. Some are visual, some are hands-on learners, some need explicit instructions. Frankly, I just did not care.

Do you remember learning about fermentation in your high school science classes? Me neither. Well it rings a bell, and I understand the principles, but it never interested me in the slightest. I inherited the “When am I ever going to use this?” attitude.

Cooking changed that. I can say I am now suffering from fermentation fever. (not a real medical condition).

Who knows why bacteria converting carbohydrates into lactic acids taste so funky and delicious? But I never question the science.

It all started when I had the “genius” idea to start my own alcoholic apple cider company named “apple of the eye” or something like that. I hit the books on fermentation, types of yeast, temperature, best apples for a dryer taste. After a few days of learning, I realized there are endless possibilities of fermented apple juice we call cider.

Unfortunately, the liquor production license, the purchase of an orchard and the equipment was a tad out of the price range of a second year university student who worked at a trade college student pub.

What I got from the research might have been more valuable than a successful fermentation factory and my own brand of cider. (Probably not).

I got the drive and knowledge to experiment on food, and recreate some of the fermented foods enjoyed around the globe.

I made Kimchi, sauerkraut, a fermented ginger and chili hot sauce that was my own concoction. The anticipation is exhilarating. Most of these foods require weeks to properly ferment. When that time is up, the sizzling from the bubbles as you open the jar is a treat to the ears. The pungent smell dominates the house, leaving my parents questioning why I am still living at home with them at the age of 22.

The funkiness of these “sour” condiments accentuates many dishes. Here is the recipe to my very succesful fermented chili sauce.

What you will need

  1. 1 cup chili peppers (any kind will do)
  2. 3 tbsp salt
  3. 3 tbsp sugar
  4. 2 tbsp chopped ginger
  5. 1 tsp olive oil
  6. 1 clove garlic

How you will do it

  1. Blend all the ingredients in a food processor, until it ressembles a roughly chopped sauce.
  2. Place in a sterilized sealed mason jar.
  3. Leave at room temperature in the jar, for about 4 days.
  4. There should be a small number of bubbles forming when you look through the jar.
  5. Open the sauce, it should have a pleasant funky smell.
  6. I guarantee the product is finished in no time.

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