While thoughts of bacteria, microbes and fungi may not spark your hunger, their ability to kick up the taste of foods has inspired chefs to use them in new and exciting ways. Fermentation allows yeast and other microorganisms to break down natural sugars into acids, resulting in products
with a long shelf life, heightened flavours and health-boosting probiotics—a perfect recipe for deliciousness.
Medina Café, Vancouver
How much does Deniz Tarakcioglu, chef de cuisine of one of the city’s favourite brunch spots, adore fermentation? A lot. Sample his popular flatbread, made with dough fermented for 36 hours, allowing time to develop tangy nuances. “It really gives the food its own personality and takes flavours to a whole new level,” he says.
Momofuku Noodle Bar, New York
Momofuku‘s celebrity chef David Chang calls fermentation “the machinery of flavour.” At his Brooklyn lab, he’s playing with fermented condiments like chickpea hozon, a seasoning similar to miso paste that adds richness to the broth of his renowned hozon ramen noodle soup. It’s finished with sautéed kale, sesame oil, scallions and fried chickpeas.
Son of a Gun, Los Angeles
Here, the love of all things fermented has crept out of the kitchen and into the bar. Order up Son of a Gun’s signature shandy, a mix of beer, citrus juice, sweetener and yeast. Once mixed, the ingredients sit in a bottle for two days at room temperature before they are chilled and served for maximum deliciousness. The earthy, yeast-centric notes balance perfectly with the tartness of the fruit.
Brothers Leeto and Leemo Han’s Korean restaurant strikes a balance between tradition and trend with seasonal twists on kimchi, the famously pungent staple featuring fermented cabbage. Using their mother’s recipe, the Hans make their kimchi in-house and add it to everything from fried rice to gazpacho. Try the squash poutine, a carnival of textures and flavours bringing salty and spicy together in perfect union.
Raku Grill, Las Vegas
Foodies in the know rave about this small Japanese restaurant off the Strip. Chef Mitsuo Endo makes his own tofu (fermented soybeans) and then turns it into magical dishes like agedashi tofu—golden deep-fried chunks of silky tofu swimming in a tangy-salty broth, topped with nori (seaweed) and salmon roe.
Raw Food Restaurants that Serve Brownies, Spring Rolls, Lasagna and More
Welcome to the raw food movement, where the healthy, whole ingredients in each dish are fermented, sprouted or gently cooked to no more than about 48°C (118°F). Here are five places that celebrate "living foods" in Los Angeles, New York, Vancouver, Toronto and London.