Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Get Your Pickle On!

Fermentation: 1. The chemical breakdown of a substance by bacteria, yeasts, or other microorganisms, typically involving effervescence and the giving off of heat. 2. The process of fermentation involved in the making of beer, wine and liquor, in which sugars are converted to ethyl alcohol.

 3. (archaic
) Agitation; excitement.

The inimitable David Barber of Picklopolis.

There is perhaps no place on the planet that is more pickle-crazy than Portland right now. And I don't mean in a self-consciously Portlandia-esque sort of way. I mean now now. It's the height of harvest season, and if you don't pickle it, freeze it or preserve it in the next few weeks, it's gonna be gone, baby, gone.

Samples galore!

Cherries, peaches, tomatoes, cabbage and all manner of cucurbits are headed for a brine of one kind or another, which, at least in this neck of the woods, calls for a festival where proud picklers of all persuasions can gather and show off their perspicacity and skills at preservation. The Portland Fermentation Festival is also a place where those of us still a bit too shy to try this preservation technique can get tips and tricks from experienced pros and home fermenters, and get a taste of their favorite fixin's.

And we're not just talking dills here…there will be examples of sauerkraut, miso, kefir, kimchi, hard cider, mead and much more, all for just $10. Kick in another ten and you can attend the tasting as well as a lecture by master fermentarian Sandor Ellix Katz, author of Wild Fermentation, The Art of Fermentation and The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved.

You might just go home with more than a pickle in your pocket.

Details: Fourth Annual Portland Fermentation Festival. Wed., Oct. 23, 6:30-9 pm; $10 for tasting; $20 includes tasting and a 6 pm lecture by Sandor Katz. Tickets available online starting Oct. 10 as well as at the event. At Ecotrust's Billy Frank Jr. Conference Center in the Pearl, 721 NW 9th Ave. Info at 503-724-2980.

Photo at top of pickles by master pickler Kevin Gibson of Evoe.

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