The rise in popularity of pickled and fermented foods is creating a number of benefits and opportunities for pub chefs.
Pub chefs need to be able to make the most of seasonal produce, and in doing so this can save on costs. In order to make ingredients go further pickling and fermenting produce can be a perfect solution.
Fermented foods have also made a comeback due to its reported health benefits; it is vital for a healthy and happy gut due to it being rich in probiotics. Increasingly there is research being conducted into the link between good, healthy gut bacteria and its effect on the immune system and mental health.
While fermented and pickled foods may not seem particularly appealing there are a number of products you can start experimenting with:
Kimchi – popular in Korea, kimchi is a great source of probiotics. It is made by fermenting cabbage with probiotic lactic acid bacteria. It can help aid digestion and is a great source of fibre.
Sauerkraut, finely cut raw cabbage that has been fermented by various lactic acid bacteria, has its own health benefits such as preventing depression and anxiety.
Kefir – a yoghurt-like drink can reduce irritation in the intestines and prevents toxins and other pathogens from entering the bloodstream.
Kombucha – a drink that is made from a colony of bacteria and yeast which is mixed with sweetened black or green tea. During fermentation, the bacteria and yeast eat away at the sugars in the tea to produce a drink that is packed full of organic acids, vitamin B and probiotics. Kombucha is linked to a number of health benefits including, improved liver function, lower cholesterol, reduced blood sugar and can also help to reduce some cancers.
All of these products aid the number of strains of good bacteria in the gut which can reduce the risk of illness, type 2 diabetes, obesity, IBS and inflammatory diseases.
Be inspired and give your menu a health-kick!