I will readily admit, when I become obsessed with something, I can think of little else. This enchanting drink (yes) I had never heard of until I was told to ask for it at a Turkish Restaurant in NY last week. Imagine something sort of like pickle juice: salty, sour, spicy, deeply vegetal, the lactobomb! Criswell predicts it will replace kombucha for hipsters. There are no directions online in English, but I figured out pretty much how to do it from a Turkish video. It is also a yeast ferment, so I'm thinking it contains a little alcohol too. The key is to tie up in a little muslin bag some stale sourdough bread, some dried chickpeas and some bulghur wheat. Then add black carrots, if you can find them, or orange. Some beets gave these batches color. Also turnip. And salt. A touch of raw sugar. Then some green chilies, I used serranos. In one jar I put fennel and ginger for kicks. It's actually not done, it should take 2 weeks, but I opened the jar on the left, which sent up violent bubbles and tasted it, and WOW, it is already magnificent. A fermented cold borscht in a way. I have read that it is traditional to drink with some raki on the side. So THAT is what I'm doing right now. Well pastis, but close enough. Now I think the experiments will commence. Why not parsnip, the finest root on earth?
Food Historian at the University of the Pacific.
Author of Eating Right in the Renaissance, Food in Early Modern Europe, Cooking in Europe 1250-1650, The Banquet, Beans (2008 IACP Jane Grigson Award) and Pancake. A cookbook with Rosanna Nafziger THE LOST ART OF REAL COOKING.
Coeditor of The Lord's Supper with Trudy Eden and Editor of A Cultural History of Food: The Renaissance.
Food Cultures of the World Encyclopedia (4 vols.) Three World Cuisines: Italian, Mexican and Chinese won the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards Best Foreign Cuisine book in the World. The Routledge International Handbook to Food Studies.
A sequel THE LOST ARTS OF HEARTH AND HOME.
Grow Food, Cook Food, Share Food from Oregon State U Press, a little book on Nuts from Reaktion and The Food History Reader from Bloomsbury. The Most Excellent Book of Cookery (translation of a 16th c. French Cookbook with Tim Tomasik) from Prospect Books. The Food Issues Encyclopedia for Sage. At the Table. Most recently: Noodle Soup: Recipes, Techniques, Obsession!