Following the success of books such as The Art of Fermentation and Fermentation as Metaphor, Sandor Ellix Katz has published a brand new book, Fermentation Journeys, which provides an in-depth exploration of fermentation culture around the world.
A self-taught fermentation experimentalist, Sandor Ellix Katz has hosted hundreds of fermentation workshops around the world, having helped catalyse a broad revival of the fermentation arts. In his latest book, Fermentation Journeys, the author documents a collection of techniques, stories, recipes, and traditions around the fermentation process, learnt from travelling the globe: including his tepache recipe.
A fermented drink popular in Mexico, this tepache recipe uses pineapple peel and core, cinnamon, cloves, and sugar (ideally piloncillo, panela, or another unrefined sugar), fermented for two-five days, producing around 1 litre in total.
“Tepache is a wonderful, effervescent, lightly fermented pineapple beverage popular in Mexico. It is made from the skins and core of pineapple; you can enjoy the fresh pineapple flesh and also make use of the parts typically discarded in order to enjoy it over a longer period of time.”
The following recipe is adapted from Sandor Katz’s Fermentation Journeys by Sandor Ellix Katz (Chelsea Green Publishing, October 2021) and is reprinted with permission from the publisher.
- Wide-mouth vessel of at least 2 litre capacity, with lid or cloth to cover
- 100 grams sugar or more, to taste*
- 1 pineapple Peel and core only, eat the rest of the fruit, cut into 1- to 2-inch/3- to 5 cm pieces
- 1 cinnamon stick and/or a few whole cloves and/or other spices optional
- Dissolve the sugar in about 250 millilitres of water.
- Place the pineapple skin and core pieces and the optional spices into the vessel.
- Pour the sugar water over the pineapple, then add additional water as needed to cover the pineapple.
- Cover with a loose lid or cloth, and stir daily.
- Ferment for 2 to 5 days, depending upon temperature and desired level of fermentation. It will get fizzy, and then develop a pronounced sourness after a few days.
- Taste each day after the first two to evaluate developing flavour.
- Once you are happy with the flavour, strain out the solids.
- Enjoy fresh or refrigerate for up to a couple of weeks.
- If it gets too sour, do not despair! After straining out the solids, leave it with its surface exposed to airflow and it will become pineapple vinegar after a week or two.
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