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All about fermentation

November 14, 2008

Here I am, blogging in the library since I have last period free today. I’m blogging now because there’s a pasta party immediately after practice and I don’t know how much time I’ll have before I get home. I GET TO SHAVE TODAY!

Breakfast (this kept me full all the way till 5th period!): two pieces of pumpkin bread with peanut butter and banana, cottage cheese with blueberries, strawberries, wheat germ, honey, a sprinkle of grape nuts and slivered almonds, and the rest of the chocolate soy milk, which was literally one sip.
I have to say though, I went back for some more cottage cheese (I need at least one and a half servings to fill me up) and cereal (puffins this time), and cut my mouth when I was chewing! Has this ever happened that something you’re eating has a sharp edge and scratches the inside of your mouth? Painful!
Anyways, bio was super interesting today, since our current unit is metabolism. Today we talked about fermentation, and our teacher asked for us to name some fermented foods. I immediately starting naming the works: tempeh, natto, kimchi…
and he said, “Kimchi’s good! And what’s the Western equivalent?”
I immediately answered “Sauerkraut!”
Him: Cabbage fan!
The conversation kept going, until he mentioned Middle Eastern preserved lemons. I accidentally blurted out “I LOVE THAT STUFF!” and everybody game me a weird look, including him. “We’ll talk privately,” he said.
It turns out that he bakes bread (we talked about the biology of alcohol fermentation vs. lactic acid fermentation) and we own the same great food science book, On Food and Cooking.
I WISH I HADN’T DROPPED FOOD CHEMISTRY! It’s a spring quarter elective, but it meets during Art History 😦
Anyways, he put a picture of natto on the project for everyone to see. Most people couldn’t tell what it was: some thought it was a rice krispie treat, beans and cheese, or even larvae.
He brought out a jar of millet miso from this Massachusetts miso company (South River Miso) whose miso is actually made by stomping on the soy beans! He put it into some scary-looking machine that could detect C02 and O2 emissions to test the level of living bacteria in the miso.
Something else I remembered! He makes sourdough by adding GRAPES in with the flour-water mixture before adding the starter! They have to be organic, though: apparently the white film around the outside of organic grapes are all organisms, so they help the fermentation happen faster. Cool, huh? Also, apparently the reason almost all soy products are fermented is because they’re more nutritious that way.
Around 11:40, I had my blueberry z bar.
Lunch: very filling! Leftover pumpkin and lentils and couscous, plus applesauce and an orange. It was so juicy, my hands still smell like oranges!

That’s about it for now. I’ll update what happened with the pasta party later. Pictures will also be posted later.
PS: an example of a lunch that is exactly the opposite of mine? Behold my friend Kaitlyn’s: pretzels, 2 Uncrustables, Cheese Nips, mandarin-orange ish fruit, and a banana.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Santa Barbara Dreaming permalink
    November 14, 2008 11:13 pm

    Wow, your high school has some really neat classes! Wish my classes were that fun, haha.
    I hate it when I’m eating something, and I mistakenly bite down on the inside of my cheek. Yowza! It pretty much spoils the entire meal. Also burning my tongue. eeek.
    I’m laughing at how some kids thought natto was rice krispie treats! can you just imagine what their faces will look like when they put it in their mouths, thinking it was gonna be sweet! ha!

  2. leucippe permalink
    November 21, 2008 11:29 pm

    I think this comment ought to work now. don’t know why they didn’t recognize my password. loved your recent blogs, esp about chamber music, running, and secret movie visits. your dad’s cooking looks beautiful with your camera.
    looking forward to more.
    think turkey though

  3. Kaitlyn permalink
    April 5, 2009 1:26 am

    oh jeez.

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