Season 11 Episode 2

The Rise of Fermented Foods?

The process of fermentation is far from new – in fact, it’s one of the most ancient preservation techniques. But with the increasing popularity of fermented products like sourdough bread, kimchi and kombucha, it seems to be having a bit of a moment in the western world. In today’s podcast we talk about some of our favourite fermented products, our attempts at home, and pondered whether or not our guts will thank us for them… We’d love to hear what YOU think of fermented foods! Which fermented products are popular where you are? Let us know in the comments below!


 Best soundbite“Kombucha is absolutely growing on me… well, it’s actually growing in me” – Mike Huttlestone

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Something to make you think...

There seems to be a bit of a trend for ‘looking after your gut’ at the moment. But how good are fermented products for you really, and how much of them do you need to eat to get the benefits? Or is fermentation just another health fad…?

What would you like to feast your ears on?
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  1. zachbenge

    I highly suggest Brad Leone’s recipe for Fermented Garlic Honey. It’s one of the best fermented ingredients I keep on hand! AND it’s so simple!

  2. HarbingerNo9

    Loved the podcast! One correction, and feel free to correct me yourself, but I don’t believe black garlic is produced by fermentation. It is produced through the maillard effect. I have made it several times and is absolutely worth trying. Tip: make in a well ventilated area. It will make everything smell like garlic (could be worse i suppose). Cheers!

  3. Taheera

    If anyone is interested in fermentation and wants a book recommendation, I would definitely recommending reading Mastering Fermentation: Recipes For Making and Cooking with Fermented Foods by Mary Karlin (,wild%20yeast%20starters%2C%20fermenting%20meats%2C).

    So many good tips and tricks, advice, recipes. So many in there that I want to give a try that it’s hard to just pick a few to start with; I want to do them all!

  4. Taheera

    Loved this episode. Funny thing is I was listening to it while feeding my sourdough starter and getting two different stages of kombucha started.

    I started brewing my own kombucha years ago, because it was getting too expensive. And I would say I now prefer my homebrews over the majority of brands, the one exception being Brew Dr. (I actually reuse their large bottles for my own brews, because they are ideal for kombucha!) I also get to do flavors that you can’t get, and one of my proudest foodie moments happened when a friend of mine drank a batch of mango chili kombucha I had made. It apparently transported him back to his grandparents’ garden as a child, eating and picking fruit. Such a cool moment.

    I got into sourdough over quarantine because I couldn’t go to the market to pick up my weekly loaf of sourdough. It’s been trial and error, but I’ve noticed a steady improvement with each loaf, and the batch I made yesterday was my best yet. I’ll admit that like James, I sometimes cheat with a bit of yeast, but I am trying to lean towards making more authentic sourdough as much as possible.

    My main tip for fermentation would be try making a kind fermented food that you already love to eat, whether its kombucha, sourdough, sauerkraut, kimchi, or whatever. If you try to make something you don’t like/not sure you like, you won’t be motivated to put the work in. Before you give it a go, learn as much as you can from videos and blogs. Learn what looks right and what signs show that it has gone off. Only make a small batch to start, don’t go overboard. And if at first you don’t succeed, try troubleshooting it with a few more Google searches, and give it another few go’s.

  5. Tamiyr

    I have fermented almost everything that can be found in Finland. From sourdoughs to honey meads and from tomatoes to salads. And I can tell you that experimenting with it is so much fun. The flavour nodes that are unlocked by fermentation are something you can not achieve otherways. So I sincerely encourage you to go and try fermentation, it might take couple of tries and a bit of time but it’ll be worth it!

    • Sorted

      That’s so interesting, it sounds like you have tried a lot! Thanks for sharing with us 🙂

  6. danielahitstheroad

    I’m working with sourdough, made sauerkraut and fermented carrots and salt-brined cabbage before, tried kombucha about 30 years ago and didn’t like it. Never tried kimchi before as it’s really tricky to get asian food in my neck of the wood.
    But I’m interested in the mechanics of it all and watched a lot of videos (did I hear a shout-out to Brad somewhere in here?) and I’ll try my hand on a lot more stuff when my garden is throwing pounds and pounds of veggies at me. I’d love to try fermented tomatoes; preserving a big tomatoe harvest is very time consuming and fermenting takes place kind of its own once started. I think.
    There’s a lot to learn and apart from the fascinating sciencey bit it produces yummy food so I will try to ferment a lot more this year.

  7. tjmarskbb

    I’ve been making kombucha for years. I’ll admit it was weird when I first tried it, but now I love it and crave it since I’m used to drinking it every day. I’ll often do a second fermentation with fruit, blueberry or peach is my favorite so far.

    • Sorted

      Those flavour combos sounds ace – we haven’t made Kombucha ourselves yet, but we love the shop bought stuff! We will have to give it a go.

      • tjmarskbb

        I definitely recommend trying to make it yourself. When you homebrew you can make it milder or stronger in flavor which is nice if your don’t want the stronger vinegar-like flavor.

  8. mclivingston

    I get slightly annoyed with flashy marketing (linked with hipster trends) for *beneficial* products, like kombucha, because I feel it distracts from the legitimate science that’s come out about the importance of keeping a healthy gut microbiome. The most recent research shows that keeping a healthy gut can relieve symptoms of chronic inflammatory conditions like IBD and IBS, both of which are as-yet incurable, and new studies are coming out linking it to even more prominent conditions like type 2 diabetes and obesity.

    • Sunanda_K

      Agreed! The “lifestyle” marketing and inflated health claims are getting annoying….especially when they’re used to drive up the price of an otherwise inexpensive, beneficial product.

    • tjmarskbb

      A healthy gut is important for autoimmune diseases, its why I started making kombucha.

    • Sorted

      We totally agree, have you also listened to our pod on Gut Health?

  9. Sunanda_K

    Kimchi is wonderful. I would’t touch kombucha with a twelve foot pole! Unlike Barry, the hipster branding is also a turn off…..I’ll stick to yogurt for my gut. There’s as many gut bacteria cells in a human body as *human* cells, so it’s probably good to keep ’em healthy.

    Most Indian households set their own curd…. you just have to remember to keep the last spoonful of the curd away and not eat it all. Also, try making a dosa sometime? It’s a savoury crepe-like thing with a fermented batter of rice and lentils flours (and sometimes millets) and it tastes delicious! We eat it with sambar (lentil soup) and coconut chutney (often made using those coconut-scraper things that you guys ran away from). Many of my friends who made quarantine sourdoughs and used their sourdough discards in their batters and it turned out great. I’d love to make black garlic someday, even though that sounds a bit daunting right now.

    Lastly – Ben- fermenting stuff takes a LOT less upper body strength than climbing.

    • Sorted

      Thanks for sharing with us, we will definitely take a look at curd and dosa’s 🙂

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