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Restaurant reviews and food news from Ann Arbor Observer reviewers M.B. Lewis and Lee Lawrence, and assorted opinionated Ann Arborites.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

New at the Farmers Market: "Live" & fermented foods

It's time to get raw, pickled, and fermented! The Ann Arbor's Farmers Market has 2 new vendors featuring fermented veggies, crackers, salads and more. And a longtime Kerrytown proprietor now employs a specialist in relishes, chutneys, and vinegar-enlivened foods.

Here's the roundup:

  • The Brinery specializes in naturally "lacto-brined" fermented vegetables. The company owner (and former Tantre farmer) David Klingenberger says these raw foods are rich in lactobacteria, similar to yogurt, and they continue to slowly "ripen" and ferment even when sealed in bottles. Some fans claim they can aid in digestion and boost the immune system. A customer this week told Klingenberger that he drives all day for work and likes to carry preserved kimchi cabbage (a Korean restaurant staple) with him to spice up fast-food hamburgers. He left with a $9 jar of the Brinery's apple-sweetened kimchi, which Klingenberger says uses all Michigan ingredients except for ginger and a premium fish sauce he gets from Pacific Rim restaurant. Try it for a truly complex condiment with a longlasting fresh taste.
  • Down the aisle, monks from the Detroit Zen Center in Hamtramck offer sprouted pumpkin seeds, fermented flax crackers, kale salad, cashew cream milkshakes and more vegan, raw, fermented, and organic foods. They're interesting to learn about, and priced reasonably enough to taste without risk--samples also are available. Ask for a business card--it comes handwritten...
  • Vinegar expert Jaime Salm, formerly of Zingerman's, has joined Durham's Tracklements on East Kingsley to make mustards, relishes and chutneys as accompanients for fish, brisket, and more. An orangey-pink mango-radish relish is subtle and sweet and crisp. Michigan ingredients like cherries, market vegetables, and pale ale show up in whole seed mustards and other offerings. Watch for evening tastings soon...


posted by Mary Beth Lewis at 10:01 p.m. | 0 comments


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