The LSFF 2018 is bubbling up. Have a look at an interview with the makers of Fermented about what didn’t fit in the film. You can come and see Fermented on 16th October at 1.45 pm.

Jonathan Cianfrani: Fermentace čili proměna, USA, 2017

Jonathan Cianfrani: Fermented, USA, 2017

Fermented grains, vegetables, milk, soy, rice – and the products of fermentation such as bread, kimchi, miso, cheese – we can get a “taste” of all this in Fermented. Is there a fermented product you had to leave out because it didn’t fit in the footage, but we shouldn’t forget about it?

The biggest challenge we encountered in this film was deciding which fermented items to include in the first place. Every culture in the world has a fermentation tradition, so no matter what we decided, there would have to be things excluded. We would have loved to explore all the continents, especially Africa and more of Asia.

Fermentation is a process of decomposition with the involvement of microbes – bacteria and yeast cells. That doesn’t sound very appetising. When pickling vegetables or fermenting kimchi is it possible to go wrong and create something poisonous?

The process may sound unappetizing, but so many of our favorite flavors, including chocolate, wine, and cheese, come from fermentation. These foods have been on the menu for hundreds, if not thousands, of years, way before anyone knew about the existence of microbes or bacteria. So if our ancestors could learn to ferment foods safely without knowing all the science, then it can be safely done by a first-timer. You just have to be aware of the environment and a few basic rules.

Is there a proof that for example fermented vegetables are healthier than fresh vegetables?

We deliberately tread lightly around the health benefits of fermentation because the science is still out. We didn’t want to preach fermentation as a panacea for all your ills. We wanted to instead focus on the flavor and technique of these foods.


Edward Lee, American chef, author of books and contestant in the Top Chef TV competition, guides us through the film. We love his style and approach. Now that you’ve completed your work on fermentation what will be the next topic you delve into with him?

Fermentation 2, Revenge of the Microbe? Kidding. But I could spend the rest of my life exploring fermented foods around the world. Edward is a busy man, with a new book “Buttermilk Graffiti,” and a number of amazing restaurants in Washington DC, and Louisville, Kentucky.

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