Welcome to episode 15 of The Real Podcast, brought to you by Real Kombucha, creators of Royal Flush, the sophisticated non-alcoholic fizz (order yours online now in time for the coming festivities).
This is something of a symbolic episode for us. Our guest is none other than Sandor Katz, often called the Godfather of Fermentation. It’s an odd nickname, given that the godfather of fermentation would have to predate the fermentation process itself – and if that’s the case, Sandor’s looking rather good for his age. He prefers the slightly less godlike Fermentation Revivalist, which is a wonderful job title in and of itself.
But even Fermentation Revivalist doesn’t seem to nail it. It’s a little bit humble. After all, most people who get into brewing kombucha, baking sourdough, making yoghurt – any kind of fermented food production in any involved manner – will have come across one of Sandor Katz’s books. To say that his Wild Fermentation, published in 2003, is “The Bible of Fermentation” (as Newsweek once described it) feels less of an overstatement. In many ways, it’s where our modern interest in fermentation was revitalised. Its influence is difficult to overstate.
So, when David Begg, the founder of Real Kombucha, shared a panel with Sandor at the Abergavenny Food Festival this summer, we were delighted to hear he’d happily join us on The Real Podcast to discuss not only kombucha, but all things fermentation.
We caught him on an early morning call from Tennessee.