My feet are itching to get out in to the world and explore new adventures again. Thankfully I have the cure for the common travel bug and this summer we are off on tour to explore the delights Portugal has to offer!
There are many fermentation residencies planned starting with a trip to the woods in the mountain region of Benfieta, where we will preserve paradise.
We will be managing the wild yeasts and bacteria of new environments creating wonderful treats in the sun. First up will the thirst quenching traditional lemonade. It is made using a source of live lactobacillus bacteria be it either kefir whey or ginger/turmeric bug.
A ginger bug is a culture of beneficial bacteria made from fresh ginger or turmeric root and sugar. It is similar to a sourdough starter for bread.
It is simply a lactic acid culture started from raw organic ginger root (with skin still on) and sugar mixed together in dechlorinated/filtered water. When you “add the ginger bug” to your drink recipe, you’re adding the liquid from this culture after straining out the chopped ginger bits.
Once the ginger bug has been matured to a slightly fizzy state (usually after five days), the strained liquid will be sufficiently saturated with Lactobacillus to start fermenting sugars in whatever you add it to.
Personally, lemons or grapefruits are the favourite choice when creating a delicious traditional probiotic fermented drink.
To keep your efforts you can refrigerate this bug. The culture will ‘go to sleep’ until you take it out, start feeding it sugar again, and leave it in a warm, dark place covered with a cloth to let it reawaken and turn fizzy again – adding some more water if you need the volume. Once it’s fizzy again, you can use it to ferment a brand new batch of drink of choice.
It is fair to issue a warning with fermented probiotic drinks using sugar or honey that one needs to take special care of your teeth and bones. Whilst the understanding is that the sugar is eaten up, these organisms create LACTIC ACID which although has a alkalises effect when consumed, it can cause tooth decay in some individuals, especially children. It is wise to have some sort of a tooth enamel protection strategy. Mine is a resourceful use of used egg shells, my Chicken Egg Shell Powder!
Enjoy, your thirst will be quenched like never before!