A Lad Insane…for Fermentation: David Klingenberger of The Brinery
David Klingenberger, Chief Fermenting Officer of The Brinery, speaks with passion about his endless love for – and enduring fascination with – vegetables transformed through brining and fermentation. In partnership with Ann Arbor's Zingerman’s, The Brinery produces sauerkraut, kimchee, pickled carrots and beets, with new products coming on line all the time. He regularly offers Fermentation 101 classes from his location at the Washtenaw Food Hub ($50/person). Turns out, making sauerkraut is remarkably easy, and hearing Klingenberger talk about this “simple food presented in its purest state,” you cannot help but be fascinated by this ancient process for preserving food, making it more interesting, and pumping up its probiotic potential. Running a cabbage head over a mandolin, Klingenberger explains that “everything that tastes good is fermented.” As he throttles salted cabbage in a large vat, he points out that “the reason we have the best hospitals in the world is that we’ve learned to poison ourselves.” But this isn’t a wild rant…well, it’s a little wild, just like the fermentation method his products undergo, but during Klingenberger's brief class he made provocative points while presenting extraordinarily simple steps for fermenting products at home rather than buying them in a store. “I tell people it’s easy, and they can do it themselves,” shrugs Klingenberger, “but for some reason they prefer that we make it…which is fine with me.”
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Washtenaw County, MI, USA