A Whole New Meaning to “Food Culture”

Bacteria, yeasts and microorganisms were the honored guests on August 24 at the third Annual Santa Barbara Fermentation Festival, presented by the Fairview Gardens Center for Urban Agriculture and Cultivate Events.

Who knew a chemical process could be so much fun? But throw in experts in the regional food and beverage world, workshops on brining your own dill pickles and making sauerkraut, and the result is fun for the whole family.

Fermentation Fest offered one of the first opportunities for Santa Barbara bread-lovers to sample Crazy Good Bread’s signature loaves. The Santa Barbara Public Market merchant was hard to miss, with its iconic “Watch for Crumbs” truck in tow. Crazy Good Bread joined forces with other artisan purveyors, local fermentation suppliers and community organizations to educate and celebrate the role of fermentation in creating delicious foods.

Kombucha SCOBYs, anyone? Short for “Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast,” SCOBYs comprised kefir grains and sourdough starters in a veritable “cultured petting zoo.” The fun didn’t stop there, as local bands entertained the crowds and diners enjoyed a farm-to-table “locavore lunch” from SOL Food Kitchen and Nimita’s Indian Cuisine, with sprouted almond milk sorbet by Sugar and Salt Creamery to finish.

Fermentation Fest offered a new way to learn about age-old practices in health and food culture, and also was a great fundraiser for Fairview Gardens’ farm stand. We look forward to next year’s Fermentation Fest!

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