Jody Adams: Fermentation, an Ancient Trend, Science and Cooking Public Lecture Series 2014


MICHAEL BRENNER: We’re delighted
to have Jody Adams from Rialto here– who we should clap–
with her assistant, Katherine. And Jody and Katherine are
going to talk in a minute, but first you have to listen
to me for five minutes. So Jody and Katherine are going
to talk about fermentation. But first, let me just give you
a very brief science background. So the question is, what do all
of these foods have in common? So all of them have been
produced with the help of bugs. So you might not like bugs. You might think bugs are
disgusting, but without bugs, you would have none of the food to
Jody is going to talk about today, and you would have none of
the foods on the last slide. So here are some pictures of bugs, just
so it’s clear what we’re talking about. So bugs, lactic acid,
bacteria, baker’s yeast. This is aspergillus oryzae,
which is another bug. And these bugs are the things
that make your food taste good. I think that’s one of the
themes of tonight’s lecture. So bugs are used for
three different things. For preservation. They’re very important for preservation. They’re very important for
flavor intensification. And they’re also important
for intoxication. And the way that works
is very important. So these are bugs, and what
they do is they eat things. It’s just like us. Sugars, proteins, lipids, and alcohol. They eat them. And then what they do is they
convert them into other things. Acids, ethanol gas, flavors, aromas. So bugs turn big molecules
into little molecules. And in doing that, the little molecules
are the things both taste good, and oftentimes bugs do this
because they’re basically warfare agents to kill other bugs. So for example, Brewer’s yeast, which
is the thing that makes alcohol, the yeast basically
converts sugar into alcohol. And it does that because
bacteria, it turns out, don’t like to live in alcohol. So we actually have a homework problem
that we gave our class this week– which we won’t make you solve, but which
is a fun homework problem– which is, suppose you take grape juice, which has
a certain concentration of sugar in it. Please calculate the alcohol
concentration in the ensuing wine after the fermentation reaction is done. You can calculate it because it’s
just converting sugar into ethanol. So here’s cheese. Does everybody like cheese? Does everybody eat the rind cheese? So does anybody know what the rind is? So the rind is what’s called a biofilm. So this is bacterial sludge. There’s a scientist that works across
the street, named Rachel Dutton, who did the following amazing experiment. She went and got cheese from all over
the world, and she took this biofilm and she took DNA sequences of the
microbes that were in the biofilm to discover what was in there. That’s Rachel. And that’s Ben, who works with Rachel. And they’re holding cheese. What they discovered– I’m going to
show you a plot, which is much too busy, but it’s an amazing plot anyway. So this is a plot of colors,
and every one of these columns is a different cheese. And the different colors correspond
to different species of bacteria. Or microbes, actually. They could be fungi. So the amazing thing is that every kind
of cheese has its own mixture of bugs. It’s not just one bug. It’s a lot of different bugs. And the tastes that are
made come from all the bugs. And good luck. You can’t go to the
store and order the bugs. That’s the whole problem. So if you want to make
the cheese, you have to find the right place where they
happen to have that kind of bug. This is my simple way
of thinking about it. And then you need to leave it there. If you’re lucky, it’ll make the cheese. And it’s just amazing. I mean, who knew you were
eating all these bugs? OK, so now the other point I want
to make, and then I’ll shut up, is that it turns out that in cooking–
if you think about where else to bugs appear in food, the other place
they appear is when things rot. And cooking is actually
not so far from rotting. So I have to end with an equation. So OK here you go. So why are there so many bugs? So here’s the reason. Imagine we’re talking about people. So everybody knows that
what happens to one person is that every person divides
and makes two people. And then of course, the
older person dies off. And then the second people die. And then they make four people. And then they die and then
they make eight people. And that’s how life goes, right? I mean, there are minor
variations around that. But that’s basically what happens. So if you count the number
of people as a function of the number of generations, then
there’s this wonderful formula. The number of people at
time t is 2 to the n, where n is the generation number. Where n is just the time
that’s elapsed, divided by the time for every generation. And that’s our equation. So you all have to clap. And the thing is, this equation
explains a lot about everything that you’re going to hear, and
about everything that I just said, for the following reason. Actually, forget that slide. So here’s the thing. So we divide. Humans divide, I don’t
know, every 30 years. Something like that. I mean on average. I don’t know what the
number is at the moment. So it turns out that salmonella
divides every 20 minutes. That’s pretty much the
fastest a cell can divide. Salmonella, E. coli,
It’s about 20 minutes. So in 12 hours, that’s 720 minutes. So that corresponds to 720
divided by 20 generations. And so that corresponds
to 10 to the 10 bugs. 12 hours. If you have a cookie on the
counter, one salmonella. Come back. 10 to 10 bugs. So then you worry. Do you have to worry about this? So it turns out that every bug weighs
about 10 to the minus 10 grams. So this is about 7 grams of bugs. That’s a lot of bugs. And that’s only after 12 hours. So if you wait 24 hours, it turns
out you have 10 to the 21 bugs. Just keep going. And that corresponds
to 10 to the 11 grams of bugs, which is the weight of
about a large number of cars. So with that, I would like to turn
it over to Jody and Katherine. JODY ADAMS: Thank you. Well, it’s always been my dream
to teach a class at Harvard. Not really. But anyway. I come from an academic family
and, I ended up as a cook. So coming back to academia
is an interesting route. But I’m thrilled to be here, and I
hope that we entertain you and give you some good information and
teach you a few recipes. I’m going to start with
fermentation is your friend. I think that we have,
certainly in the past 20 years, become really nervous about foods that
have microbes associated with them. Because we think that we can
actually separate the two, which of course we can’t. Fermented food, for us as
chefs, there’s this scary thing that happened when we were
told that cured hams from Italy weren’t going to be
allowed to come here. Unpasteurized cheese wasn’t going
to be able to come to this country, because they were so
terrified of microbes. And we know that
microbes are our friends, and that fermentation is our friend. It’s a lot more than rotting food. From a chef’s perspective,
fermentation is all about flavor. My early memories of fermentation
are traveling in Europe when I was in my early 20s, and going to
every market, living in youth hostels, and carrying around bags of fruit. And I was determined to try
as many things as I could. I didn’t know I was
going to become a chef, but I was certainly interested in food. And I’d get back to the youth
hostel and it was August and they would be bubbling. And they were fermenting. And I’d throw them away. Fast forward to one of the
early holidays my husband and I, when we were first married,
we didn’t have a lot of money. We decided we would make something. By that time I was a cook, and we
would make apple butter for everybody. We bought really expensive Calvados. We spent hours making this apple butter. We had little labels made with
everybody’s– not only their name, but a caricature of
them on these labels. And we bottled the apple butter. And we got calls a week later
from everybody saying, it’s alive! So it was fermenting. So they threw it away. But anyway, what I know
about fermentation now is that fermentation is flavor. The reason that it’s
important for a chef is that we are in the business of
creating a Proustian experience, and that is flavor plus emotion. Because flavor plus emotion
is going to give you a memory. Emotion, for us, is hospitality. That’s what we do in restaurants. To make you feel like you’re the
most important person in the universe and we love you and you’re
part of our community. And flavor is what we strive for, in
delicious food with balanced flavors that will help create a good memory. So the memories for us
equal repeat customers. Repeat customers equal dollars. And those dollars allow me to go
back to Italy and find more flavors. So flavor is really, really important. And what’s interesting for me about
fermentation starts with flavor. And then when I was asked to teach
this, as I started reading about it and reading about the science
and the other benefits to fermentation– I
mean, we all know there’s the buzz going around about
probiotics in our internal flora, and all kinds of interesting
things that people are doing to try and reverse the
sterilization of our internal flora. So as Mike was saying,
in fermentation, there are actors which are the good microbes. I mean, they could be good or bad, but
we’re going to focus on the good ones. There’s an action, which is their
consumption of carbohydrates, for the most part. And the outcome for them is energy. They have to eat. And they eat to reproduce. To become that 10 to
the bazillionth number. But for us, what’s
beneficial is the acid. The alcohol, and carbon
dioxide and other things, which are flavor and
texture, preservation, and then third, health benefits. And so we start with flavor. The next thing that’s
important to us the chefs is preservation, because
we can hold things. And the last is health. And the other thing in there is, of
course, that Michael pointed out, was alcohol but I was focused on food. I have a little bit of history. It’s a brief outline,
but it was the things that struck me as being interesting. Of course, we know fermentation has
been around since the beginning of time. It was first recorded 7,000 to
6,000 BCE in Neolithic China, both in fermented rice as an
alcoholic beverage, but also in milk. It was in 1837 that
yeast was identified. In 1840, that bacteria was identified. And not long after that Louis
Pasteur connected yeast and alcohol fermentation, believing
that the yeast was a vital force that caused fermentation. That it wasn’t something that
was happening in the food itself, but there was this vital force. And then a couple years later, he
showed that bacteria soured milk. And of course, we know
about pasteurization, and it was named after
him, and all that. But there was another
guy named Eduard Buchner, who separated the
enzymatic part of the yeast and identified that as the catalyst. So it wasn’t the yeast as a whole but
that but the enzyme as a catalyst. And is that the zymose? Does anybody know? Zymaze? No? No. Good. Well, Pasteur is known
as the first zymologist, but I couldn’t figure
out what that meant. and then Edward Buchner won the Nobel
Prize for his work on fermentation. Yogurt, of course, fermented milk. Been around forever. Been around all over Europe. But it was first brought to this
country in 1910 as a health food, and for digestion. In 1920s, there was prohibition
of fermented beverages. Now you think about that. I mean, it’s going to happen. It’s been happening since
the beginning of time. To try and prohibit that just
seems, at this point, crazy. In 1948, the first antibacterial
soap was introduced. It was Dial. In the 1950s, antibacterial soaps
started to be used in hospitals. And then in the ’90s, there was the
antibacterial craze domestically in households, which to me
was a really scary time. And I think that we’re shifting
that wave a little bit. And for sure, in my world,
fermentation is back. I was asked by a young guy
last year at some food event whether or not I had a
fermentation program at Rialto. I hadn’t actually heard
of a fermentation program. I didn’t know that was something
I was supposed to have. But it is what young chefs
are really interested in. Of all of the trendy paths
that they can go down, I think that this is one
that is really compelling. Really interesting scientifically. Really interesting in
terms of the role it can play environmentally, and also
in terms of internal health, as well. Both internal and external
health of our bodies. So fermentation is
anaerobic, for the most part. It’s the metabolism or the
digestive process of microorganisms. Yeast and bacteria are the ones
that we’re going to focus on. Yeast actually starts with an aerobic
fermentation, and then shifts. But we’re going to ignore
the oxygen in that. Why do they do it? As I said before, they do it for energy. They do it to eat. How? They find carbohydrates, gobble them up,
and excrete alcohol, acids, and gases. So their excretions are what we like. And for us, again, it’s flavor in
beer, pickles, yogurt, bread, cheese, prosciutto. Who are the microbes? Yeast is a single-cell fungus. Bacteria a single-cell microbe. And from what I understand,
and I’m not a scientist, the lactobacilli hangs out with
bread, yogurt, and pickles. Or in vegetable fermentation. And those are the three things
I’m going to show you today. Fermentation in bread. Fermentation in milk and yogurt. And fermentation in pickles. So some fermented foods that you know. Yogurt, cheese, preserved lemons. Garum, which is a fermented fish sauce. Prosciutto, dry sausages, bread,
cultured butter, wine, beer, hard cider, sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles,
kombucha, coffee, chocolate, olives, miso. And then two of the most
disgusting fermented foods ever. I’ve had both of them. And one of them is hakarl, which
is Icelandic fermented shark. It’s a particular kind
of shark, and it has a very high uric acid and
another bacteria on it that has to be squelched. And so it’s buried in sand. And it just kind of rots there
for 6 to 12 weeks, and ferments. It drains out the fluids,
and that is hung and dried. Has anybody ever had this? It’s harsh. It really is. It smells like rotting food. It’s really ammoniated and
not terribly pleasant to eat. But if you’re presented with it,
you absolutely have to eat it. If you don’t, you’re a wimp. You would only have it, I think, in
Iceland or a Nordic country like that. And it would be
insulting for you not to. So if you go on, particularly, if you
go on a trip with a group of people who are visiting a country
like Iceland and you’re being toured around, for sure you’re
going to be asked to try this. So just be prepared. But it’s followed up with an aquavit
that has a licoricey kind of flavor to it. And then you’re done. In my family, we there was something
called a no thank you helping. At every meal, you had to try what
was presented in front of you. My mother only cooked one
meal, so you had to try. And even if you hated liver three
weeks ago, you still have to try it. It’s called a no thank you helping. So that’s what this is. The other rotting food
that’s kind of gross is Sardinian pecorino cheese that
goes through two-stage fermentation. The first one is microbial. And then the second stage is
actually the larvae of sheep flies. They’re little, tiny flies that land. The cheese is cut open and they’re
invited to come in and land and lay their little eggs. And the larvae eat up the cheese and
make this kind of soft, gooey stuff. So there it is. My husband took this picture. We were in Sardinia in
the beginning of October. And you can actually see, with
this picture, what’s happening, I think with microbes. You know, the microbes work the
same way that these larvae do. So it’s actually quite delicious,
if you like a strong cheese. It’s sort of like a Gorgonzola. It’s kind of soft. And you just have to get over the bugs. And I said that to my husband,
and he said, “They are not bugs.” Anyway, it’s delicious. But it’s also very acquired. And it is kind of ammoniated as well. So we’re going to shift from
larva and cheese to bread. And I’m going to make a
loaf of bread, and you are going to try bread in three stages. Katherine works in our
pastry department at Rialto. And she made three
different batches of bread. One she started on Friday. KATHERINE BURCHMAN: Friday. And then Saturday. And then yesterday. JODY ADAMS: Yesterday. So the bread fermented. It’s the same recipe. It was all baked this morning, but
it’s three different fermentations. So the flavor in bread comes from
yeast, water, flour and salt. That’s all that’s in there. It has a tiny bit of
molasses in it, actually, but it doesn’t necessarily
certainly have to have it. It’s dependent on those things,
plus times, plus temperature. The water is mixed with the yeast. The yeast is hydrated. And then that hydrated
yeast, the enzymes work on some rogue sugars, apparently,
that are floating around in flour from milling. There’s some damaged cells that sort of
kick-start the whole enzymatic process. So we need the big starch
molecules, that are big and knotted, to be broken down so that the yeast
can actually eat them and produce alcohol and carbon dioxide. So the yeast, as I said,
the enzymes break down these big molecules to
glucose and fructose, producing alcohol and carbon dioxide. And then if you allow the bread to
go through a further fermentation– so the ones that were fermented from
Friday, then some bacteria come in and they start eating
up the maltose and it goes through this second
fermentation that produces acids that give sourdough its flavor. And that acidic content in a bread
will help preserve the bread, so sourdough breads have a longer
shelf life than ones that aren’t sour. So I’m going to stop all
that talking for a minute. We need just a little bit of yeast. Like that much yeast? KATHERINE BURCHMAN: Yeah. It’s two teaspoons to this recipe,
but we’re just going to eyeball that. JODY ADAMS: Oh, did I
put the recipe– there. Two teaspoons of yeast. A couple of tablespoons of molasses. KATHERINE BURCHMAN: That’s
strictly for flavor. JODY ADAMS: And it can
kick-start the yeast. But it’s not necessary. And then we have about
two and a quarter– KATHERINE BURCHMAN:
That’s two and a quarter. JODY ADAMS: Two and a quarter
pounds of white flour. KATHERINE BURCHMAN:
We want half of that. JODY ADAMS: And this is whole wheat. And then we have a couple
tablespoons of salt. Very scientific. So you can do this,
of course, in a mixer. But I think that if you’re
making bread at home, the satisfaction of kneading
dough is really worthwhile. And I’m going to get this
started and then, of course, turn it over to Katherine. KATHERINE BURCHMAN:
When it gets too messy. JODY ADAMS: When it gets really hard. So what we’re doing is, the yeast
is going to be distributed in here. You don’t really have
to proof the yeast, unless you think you’ve had the yeast
for 100 years and it’s completely dead. Proofing the yeast is re-hydrating
it, bringing it back to life, and proving that it’s alive
because it bubbles up. But you don’t really need to do that. What happens with bread is
that– right now, what I’m doing is developing the gluten. The gluten is the protein
that are forming strings, so that when the dough
rises, it has a structure. And if you are making a pie crust,
you don’t want to develop the gluten. You wouldn’t do this. You wouldn’t knead the dough. There are some doughs that
don’t need to be kneaded, and that’s because in fact, just
the action of the yeast fermenting gets the gluten going. There’s enough activity, actually,
that the gluten will develop that way. But they tend to be a softer dough. And we want this to have some structure. So when you’re kneading dough,
see, you can get your exercise. As long as you’re using your core. But this is really fun to do. Honestly. We spend so much time saving time
so we can go to the gym and do this. Why not make a really
beautiful batch of bread? OK, go at it, Katherine. I already went to the gym today. KATHERINE BURCHMAN:
You’re really strong. JODY ADAMS: Well, you have to stand
with your Pilates stance, like this. Like you’re boxing. So we’re going to let that– actually,
my hands are covered with gluten. But isn’t it exciting to know
that what we’re doing here is developing this gluten? So we’re setting it up for success. So as the yeast is giving off all that
carbon dioxide, and most of the alcohol is going to go off into the air. But the carbon dioxide is coming
up, and the gluten strands are holding it all together, so
you have this beautiful structure. If they break, if you over-proof a
dough, you end up with a cottony bread. You know how Wonder
Bread is really cottony? It’s because it’s way over-proofed. If you want a dough that has a nice,
even structure and also great flavor, you don’t want to use a lot of
east and you want a slow rise. So what we do at Rialto,
actually, is add ice to the dough. So instead of three
cups of water, we would have used– this is actually wrong. This is supposed to be pounds of flour. But that’s not 10 minutes. KATHERINE BURCHMAN: OK. You got it. JODY ADAMS: So we’re going to put it in
a bowl, and put in a little bit of oil. The oil it just helps it slither up
the sides of the pan as it rises. It also, if you will roll the ball
in the oil, and it will protect– KATHERINE BURCHMAN: Also,
if you’re going to cover it, if you have oil on the
top and as it rises, it won’t stick when you’re taking the
cover off, which is super annoying. JODY ADAMS: And it
won’t dry out, either. Then what we recommend
you do is actually make a line where the dough started,
if you’re a first-time bread baker. You put the dough and you cover it. You let it rise. It can take an hour, if you put it
in a warm place, it’s going to rise. You’re going to have a dough that
doesn’t have very much character. It’s going to be a fairly sweet
dough, because the yeast will not have gone into the second
fermentation, which is with the maltose producing the acid. It will have broken down the starch
molecules of the flour into sugars. So you’ll still have
some sugar in there. Once it rises, it’ll look like that. You can see all the bubbles in there. That’s the carbon dioxide coming up. And that’s the right amount. You don’t want it to go much more, or
as I said, it’s going to be cottony. Then you dump it out onto the counter,
and you make a beautiful bread. We’re not going to have time for that. But we are going to let
this rise while we talk. We also, at Rialto and also at Trade,
we let our doughs rise overnight in the refrigerator. Makes a much more
interesting flavored dough. And sometimes let them go for two days. And then you have a happy daughter. She’s 18 and she’s in
Paris right now, and she would hate me if she knew I do that. I couldn’t resist. So you have, on your plate,
three different breads. You want to start with the
one– where are our students? KATHERINE BURCHMAN: I think they
said the red or the yellow toothpick is from Friday’s batch of dough. JODY ADAMS: So you want
to start with the one that doesn’t have a toothpick in it. KATHERINE BURCHMAN: Yesterday’s? JODY ADAMS: Yesterday’s. KATHERINE BURCHMAN: No toothpick. JODY ADAMS: No toothpick. KATHERINE BURCHMAN:
Saturday is blue or green. And then Friday is yellow or red. JODY ADAMS: OK. So go none, and then blue or green. Oh, god, let’s write on the blackboard! Zero is Sunday. KATHERINE BURCHMAN: Green
or blue is Saturday. JODY ADAMS: Green or blue is Saturday. KATHERINE BURCHMAN: And then
red or yellow is Friday. JODY ADAMS: Red or yellow is Friday. OK. I think you want to start
with the sweeter one, and then go to the one
that has more flavor. Pretty interesting, huh? You don’t always want to
make a sourdough bread. If you’re making a Danish pastry
that has a lot of butter in it, you don’t want it necessarily
to have a lot of sour in it. There are other ways of flavoring
bread, other than fermentation. You can change the
liquid that you’re using. Milk. You can add milk to make it richer. You can add cider. You can add buttermilk. Buttermilk’s a favorite. You can add fats to it, which
will make a softer dough. Oils or butters, because
they’re going to cut the gluten. They’re going to soften the gluten. You can add other
sugars and more sugars. You can add eggs that
will enrich the dough. Different kinds of grain. Rye, corn, buckwheat. KATHERINE BURCHMAN: We use a bulgar. JODY ADAMS: Cracked wheat. Bulgar. Sprouted grains, nuts and
seeds, herbs and spices, dried fruits, cheese, vegetables,
chopped vegetables, vegetables puree. You can use a vegetable puree as a base. But those are going to ferment. Just anything sweet you add is going to
add to the fermentation of the bread. And meat. Was that interesting? AUDIENCE: Yes! JODY ADAMS: I’m used to
teaching like 20 people, and we have a nice dialogue going. OK, so I didn’t finish this process. So the enzymes in yeast act on
the glucose and the fructose, producing the alcohol
and carbon dioxide. Then we have the sourdough. And then the heat the oven works with
the acid in the alcohol as it rises. It’s called– what’s that called? Because it will continue
to rise in the oven. Oven spring. That’s right. thank you. Oven spring. And it produces esters. So the alcohol and the acid come
together and produce esters. And that’s where you get the
nice, fabulous aroma of bread. And it’s that aroma that induces
feelings of warmth and memory and bring people back. OK, so now I’m going to make yogurt. So we’ll move over here. So that was yeast fermentation. And now we’re going to talk
about milk fermentation. Yogurt is the easiest
thing in the world to make. And it is so good for you. So now you’re getting a taste of milk. Milk. Start with milk. KATHERINE BURCHMAN: Here you go. Here are your starters. JODY ADAMS: So we’re going to bring
the milk up to about 180 degrees. That 180 degrees denatures
the proteins, which helps with the physical structure
of the yogurt down the road. So you don’t end up with curds. You just end up with a solid mass. Can you go see, do they
have the big jar of yogurt? Once it’s at 185 degrees,
you let it cool to about 115. And then you can mix in either
yogurt or a yogurt culture. And I just discovered this. I know I’m not supposed to advertise. But this company online, their
cultures don’t have anything in them except organic milk and live cultures. Some other ones have other kinds
of sugars that they’ve added, but this is just that. And this amount of yogurt will help
turn 42 ounces of milk into yogurt. KATHERINE BURCHMAN:
Did you need a big jar? JODY ADAMS: No, I wanted to show– is
there a big jar of yogurt back there? KATHERINE BURCHMAN: I don’t think so. They’re spooning it out right now. JODY ADAMS: Yogurt is
incredibly forgiving. I had to make a huge batch
of yogurt last night, and I once I got it into
the jars, I thought, I don’t have my groovy little– this
is a groovy little yogurt maker. I didn’t have anything like this
for this much jars this size. So I just put it in the
oven at about 110 degrees. I kept checking it, and it
actually stayed in there overnight. It was a very slow
fermentation overnight. So what’s happening is the bacteria
are eating the sugars and the milk. The lactose in the milk. And producing lactic acid. And because the sugars are eating
that lactose, well, a bunch of things happen. One of them is you get this
great acidic flavor of yogurt. You also have a milk product that
now has tons of good microbes in it. It’s a very good, healthy
thing for you to eat. And the third is that it’s
pre-digested the lactose. So people who have any
kind of lactose problems are able to eat yogurt much more
easily than they can fresh milk. That’s going to take forever
to turn to 180 degrees. Fermentation does take
some time and preparation. Once you’ve mixed the yogurt or
the starter into the warm milk, then you put it into jars. You put it into a place that has a
temperature of about 110 degrees, and you let it incubate. It takes at least five hours. I like to leave it longer. Sometimes, even in these little jars,
I’ll let it go in for nine hours. You get a more interesting
flavored yogurt. It’s a little more acidic. And then you just put the tops
on, and put it in the fridge. And of course it lasts a really
long time, because it’s fermented. And this company sells these– not this
company, but anyway– sells the tops, and you can put the date on it . You turn the little knob and
it tells you what the date is. So you keep track of
how old your yogurt is. The other kinds of fermented
milks that are also delicious. Yogurt. Kefir. Kefir actually has, I
believe yeast in it, as well. It’s more complicated culture. Clabber, which is a kind of
a cheesy kind of a thing. And then skyr, which is another
Icelandic sort of yogurt that apparently now is quite
solid, but originally was more of a more liquid kind of a drink. And they’re all slightly different
in what the bacterias are that cause them to ferment. But originally, probably, somebody
was carrying milk around in a bag and there were microbes and bacteria in
the bag, and the yogurt just happened. Any questions? AUDIENCE: Does yogurt have alcohol
[INAUDIBLE] fermentation [INAUDIBLE]? JODY ADAMS: Does yogurt have alcohol? I don’t believe so. Unless there was a yeast that was
introduced to it, I don’t believe so. But I don’t know. Does anybody know? I don’t know that these
bacteria produce alcohol. No. I’m going to come back to
that once the milk is done. But in the mean time, I’m
going to make pickles. Or did you try your yogurt yet? Or did you just have milk? Just had milk. OK. Yogurt’s coming. Yogurt is also not something that you
have to eat with fruit in the bottom. It’s really delicious to
just eat it by itself, if you have a really good yogurt. And I would highly recommend
that when you’re buying yogurt, you look at the package. And if there’s any additives, if there
is anything other than yogurt culture and milk, I would stay away from them. There’s really no reason. Yes? AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE]. JODY ADAMS: The way to thicken it is by
using– this is actually a Greek yogurt culture that I have here,
that I haven’t actually tried. And it calls for heating it to
a slightly lower temperature. So I’m not sure what
will happen with this. But the way to make Greek yogurt
is to put it in cheesecloth. It’s getting rid of the whey. That’s how it’s thickened. Don’t add a thickener. A lot of these Greek yogurts,
they’ve added something to it to thicken the yogurt, and
it’s not a Greek yogurt. And if you’re going to eat
yogurt, eat whole milk yogurt. We’re allowed to eat fat now. It’s good for you. It’s satisfying. We use yogurt a lot, as a
condiment, as an additive, as a balance to lots of
different kinds of dishes. Let’s say you have a rich
butternut squash soup, and it’s sweet because
of butternut squash, and you want something
to balance the sweetness. Then you add some acid to it. And the acid in this
case would be yogurt. Really refreshing. Really delicious. If you think about adding– you take
a bowl of yogurt and put in raisins, and you put in granola
that’s laden with sugar, and then you add some nuts and
honey, and blah, blah, blah. You’re putting all this
sweet stuff into yogurt. Think about doing the same thing,
but use savory ingredients. Use tomatoes and cucumbers. Put some garlic in there. Put some nuts in there. It’s a really delicious base. Yogurt! Here comes yogurt. So this was made with a traditional
culture, whatever that means. But these bacteria like the heat. That’s why we heat the milk. Not just to denature
the protein, but also to provide an environment
that the bacteria like. KATHERINE BURCHMAN: It’s heating up. I can see the steam. JODY ADAMS: It needs
to be almost bubbling. OK, let’s do pickles. KATHERINE BURCHMAN:
Want me to take it out? JODY ADAMS: Yeah. So now, while we’re waiting for our
yogurt– and this won’t take very long. OK, so we have taken cucumbers
and removed the ends from them. Apparently, they start
rotting from the outside in. So you want to take those ends off. We soaked them in water. We’re going to put them in here. You want to put them in a clean jar. I know we’re adding grape
leaves to make them crispy. Because the tannins in the grape
leaves help keep the cucumbers crispy. And I don’t know why that is either. And then we’re going to
throw in some peppercorns. You can put dill in here. And you can put all kinds of flavorings. And these are pickles, and
these are fermented pickles. The pickles that you get that
are preserved under vinegar are not fermented pickles. They’re still pickles. And the vinegar’s fermented,
but they’re not fermented. What happens here is the
naturally occurring bacteria on the outside of the
cucumbers –without oxygen, because we’re going to pour
the water over them– start to eat the naturally occurring sugars
on the outside of the cucumber, and they ferment. And they give off acid and gas. And you leave the top off,
particularly in the beginning, to allow the carbon dioxide
to go out, otherwise you end up with my apple
butter that explodes. But the acid stays here with the
cucumbers, and it sours them. And initially they’re kind of salty, but
then the salt is balanced by the acid. So we’re giving you now
a cucumber and a pickle. I like these because they don’t
have very many seeds in them. I like smaller ones. Yeah, these are sort of
like the Persian ones. Do we have more? So they would fit better into this jar. In a bigger jar, you can just drop them. AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE]. JODY ADAMS: Possibly, but I wash them. But it seems to work. I would bet that the bacteria on the
cucumber beats out the other ones. Should I go faster? MICHAEL BRENNER: No, I wasn’t
trying to speed you up. We just have microphones
if anyone wants questions. JODY ADAMS: Am I getting boring? MICHAEL BRENNER: No, you’re not boring. No, this is great. JODY ADAMS: So the other thing you
want to do is when you’re doing this, you want to put something on top
that’s going to hold all of the– is my pickle jar back there? Or no. You need to put something on top to
hold the cucumbers under the water so that they don’t interact with oxygen. My guess would be that, about your
question about the grape leaves, is that the bacteria in the
pickles that produces so much acid is making the environment not
a place for other bacteria. I mean, that’s why it’s
a method of preservation. There are all kinds of other bacteria. KATHERINE BURCHMAN: It’s at 140. JODY ADAMS: These are the
cucumbers that we used. And some of them are even
smaller, as you can see. These are nice, little ones
without a lot of seeds. So in here, we have these weights. Can you see this? No. It’s turned a little bit cloudy. This is about two weeks. And these cucumbers
were a little smaller. You can see, though. They look like real pickles, right? Pretty cool. It’s so easy. You’re going to want to start your own
fermentation program in your house. OK, we’re going to cheat a little bit,
because I’m going to finish this up. You can see the difference in
the color and what happens. And clearly, that’s acid. And all that is salt, peppercorns,
and garlic, and water. It’s all the acid from the fermentation. We used up all our bowls, didn’t we? Here, I’m going to use this. So I’m going to put my yogurt in here. Add a little bit of milk. AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE]. JODY ADAMS: To temper it a little bit. It’s to temper it, to
even out the temperature. This milk is way too hot. You can see it’s curdling. I should have let it cool
down before I did that. AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE] JODY ADAMS: No. I was going to point this out. This was kind of obvious. If anybody could see that was happening. So I will tell you what you do when this
happens, because I’ve done this before. I’m going to have a yogurt
that is slightly curdled. And so you put in a cheesecloth and
you drain it, and you have cheese. And you don’t tell anybody that
you screwed up your yogurt. KATHERINE BURCHMAN: It’s true. JODY ADAMS: So temperature and
time, obviously, are very important. But this little gizmo, if you
want to make your own yogurt, if you want to start being super healthy
and without being obnoxious about it, just in a good way, with great flavor. This is a really good
little machine to have. Can you see it? So you have a whole
fermentation program right here. Without even trying. I think the pickles are so exciting. And I remember, when I was a
kid, there was a sandwich shop and it was actually– does everybody
know who Wiley Dufresne is? So his father had a sandwich shop called
Joe’s in Providence, where I grew up. He went to RISD and he opened up first
a sandwich shop called Joe’s, and a restaurant called Joe’s upstairs,
which was a very cool place. And in the middle of the
sandwich shop was a barrel. And in the barrel were pickles. And in my memories,
they were just floating. I don’t think we stuck our hands in. But I remember they must have the
plastic top on them, or something. Because I can’t imagine that
you just kind of walked in and looked at the pickles. But they were just
floating around in there. And that’s what they were, is this. Did anybody go to Joe’s? Did you go to Joe’s? It’s Jeff’s now. It’s not nearly as good. It’s really dirty. I hope I didn’t screw
up the pickles too. No, you keep it at 70 degrees. OK. As I said, for the pickles, there’s
naturally occurring bacteria on the outside of the pickles. They interact with the sugars. They like being in a salt brine
at a certain temperature, which is about 70 degrees. And they will start fermenting. And what everybody says, when
you’re reading about them, is taste, taste, taste. And when they get to a point that
you like, put them in the fridge. Keep a cover over them. You want to cover them up completely,
because they’re fermenting and there’s gas coming off, and they
could pop the top off something. Put a cheesecloth over the top. Just put them on your counter. Don’t put them in direct sunlight. And just let them hang out. You want them to be in something with
a fairly wide top, not super narrow, because they pretty much guarantee
they’re going to develop mold. And you just skim that mold off. And be diligent about that. I had two going at the same time. I had this one and I had another
one that was more this size, and I ignored the small one, and
the mold got into the pickle flavor. So I had to dump them out. But the other, this one,
I just kept skimming. Are you eating pickles? Did you like the pickles? You wouldn’t say no anyway. You could say no once I leave. Yes? How long? They took about 10 days before
I put them in the fridge. And that salt solution
was three tablespoons per quart, which is, I
think, about 5% solution. You can work with a lower
salt solution if you want, if you don’t want them quite as salty. It’ll take longer. So fermentation is preservation. That’s what we’ve talked about. We’ve talked about flavor. The flavor of those pickles is great. We add pickles to everything. We add them as accents, garnishes. Think about adding olives and capers. All of those things that
have big, bold flavors. That’s what give food
its depth, and it’s what gives food it’s
memory quality for you. You’re going to remember that
pickle much longer than you’re going to remember the cucumber. And it’s going to stay– the
flavor’s going to stay in your mouth much longer than a cucumber. So it’s important to have
those kinds of flavors in food. And if you don’t have them,
then food is really boring. Fermenting is also,
obviously, about preservation and preserving milk with yogurt,
cucumbers to pickles, and bread. Sourdough bread . It’s also very healthy. As we talked about in sourdoughs,
the pre-digested culture– oh, no, we didn’t talk about this,
but the pre-digested culture of bread reduces the presence of gluten,
making it easier for us to digest. So because the bacteria
has started breaking down, more of the sugars in
the gluten, it’s easier to digest than a non-sourdough bread. It also lasts longer. Yogurt, is the same thing
is true, as I talked about. And pickles, there are also
good things that happen, like vitamin B, that come into play. Fermentation is also a really
good thing for the planet. I met a woman the other day who
is the CEO of a company that has, she called them, anaerobic digesters. And they’re these huge
machines to collect waste. Organic waste. And they’re digested, and it produces
methane gas that’s used as fuel and produces fertilizer. And this is the kind of process that we
should be supporting and looking for, because we need different
kinds of energy. So I think we need to
stop the war on microbes. Stop sanitizing so much. We are microbes. We are covered with them, inside and
out, and we need to remain that way. They provide a protection against
bad microbes who want to attack us. And without them, we’re vulnerable
to colds, infections, and allergies. I think allergies is a big one that
people are really interested in. So when I started as
a cook 30 years ago, flavor was something that
we found in big fats, lots of meat, butter and cream. And over the years, as I’ve aged
and my interest in food has shifted, I’ve become much more
interested in foods that have big flavors coming from somewhere else. In this case, with fermented foods
that really makes food, as I said, much, much more interesting. Much more fun to play with. And really fun to watch what
fermentation is doing in our kitchens. Look for flavor. Look for it in the right places,
where it really makes a difference, and brings memories,
and makes you feel good, and you can be
experimental and have fun. Thank you.

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