Here at Tartly, we adore the flavor and nutrition benefits of fermented foods. In fact, we consider fermented foods ancient wisdom foods that have been eaten as far back as 6000 BC. Nearly every civilization has at least one fermented food in its culinary heritage - from cheese and yogurt to Korean kimchi, sauerkraut, fish sauce, and yep, even beer. Today, fermentation brings intense flavors and plays a pivotal role in bringing beneficial probiotic microbes to our diet.
So how exactly does fermented food work? Fermented foods are foods that have been through a process of lactofermentation in which natural bacteria feed on the sugar and starch in the food, creating lactic acid. This process preserves the nutrients in the food and break down the food into a more digestible form. It also creates beneficial enzymes, b-vitamins, and strains of probiotics along the way.
Our gut flora is a complex community of microorganisms living in our digestive tracts; they help to break down food so we can absorb nutrients. Eating fermented foods with their bevy of probiotics can bring us the good gut bacteria we need to aid in digestion. This results in less constipation and other digestive issues, and all in all, a happy belly!
One excellent example of a traditional fermented food is vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is made by first crushing apples and squeezing out the liquid (called apple cider). Bacteria and yeast are added to the liquid to start the alcoholic fermentation process, and the sugars are converted into alcohol. In a second fermentation process, the alcohol is turned into vinegar by acetic acid-forming bacteria (acetobacter).