WHERE IT ALL BEGUN
It all started when London-based Belgian dietitian Marie-Laure got enraptured with lacto fermentation and its potential health benefits.
Her kitchen became a lab on good days and more of a zoo with invisible creatures on messy days.
Out came bubbling krauts, carrot sticks, beetroots, lemons, kimchi and kefir. Her toddler loved it all, but her Italian partner was less impressed. He said something along the lines of: “All good that it’s healthy, but it’s not really tasty. The mouthfeel is a bit rough. Do you think you could make something delicioso?” Loving a challenge, they set out one evening to create the ultimate sauerkraut flan. The one rule being that you cannot cook the fermented foods or the good bacteria won’t survive.
To cut a long story short: the flan looked good, they woke up the next day, but it had fallen apart, he went back to managing his start-up and she continued the fermentation challenge. Tweaking a few recipes from the web, she started making lacto fermented fruit roll-ups with an old food dehydrator.
What took our fermentation adventure to the next level were the conversations with a microbiologist making probiotics for a food supplement company. He pointed out that lacto fermented foods offered something special: bacterial diversity, short-chain fatty acids and fibre (prebiotics) which are all good for gut health. He tested the CFU (colony forming units) of Marie-Laure’s fruit roll-ups and hurray, they contained 10 million live friendly bacteria. He suggested using a freeze dryer, usually used in pharma companies, to develop other recipes.
The second nudge to create Fermenti came after reading Missing Microbes from microbiologist Martin J. Blaser. The book gives an understanding of how antibiotic overuse, diet and lifestyle have damaged our microbiomes and contributed to the rise of obesity, asthma, diabetes and certain types of cancer. It is an emergency call to take care of our inner jungles.
Last but not least, it’s the joy of watching her toddler and her friends eat the lacto fermented experiments and asking for more, that inspired Marie-Laure to create Fermenti.
Since renting the freeze dryer, Marie-Laure has created some moreish and beautiful treats for you to enjoy.