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Sharon Flynn on Ferment for Good: A Love Affair with Fermented Foods

By Kriben Govender: Food Scientist

A fascinating conversation with author of Ferment for Good, and Founder of The Fermentary, Sharon Flynn. We discuss Sharon’s love affair with fermented foods, helping her sick daughter get better from gut issues ,the challenges around making fermented foods commercially, homemade vs store bought ferments, Sharon’s easy Carrot Brine recipe, milk Kefir the probiotic superfood to transform your gut health and much more.     Bio:    Australian-born Sharon Flynn was living in Tokyo, teaching English at a university, more than two decades ago when she first learned about fermenting. An elderly Japanese neighbour and her family introduced Sharon to the joys of miso, tofu and eventually fermented vegetables. Many city moves later - she married a financier who moved with work regularly - Sharon found herself in Seattle. That's where she really caught the fermenting bug. She belonged to a Community Supported Agricultural Scheme and received so many little cucumbers that she recalls she had to learn to pickle! She moved on to cheese, yoghurt and bread - and was truly hooked after meeting the man regarded as the master of fermentation in the US, Sandor Katz.     In the background here, her third daughter became quite ill. By this time the family had moved to Brussels and she found that antibiotics had left her daughter's system devoid of essential bacteria. Sharon says she read up more and more on fermenting - every culture has a version of some sort - and her daughter eventually regained her zest and good health. Fast forward a few years and Sharon found herself in Melbourne, this time sans her husband, with her three daughters. She learnt to make kefir, made her own ferments and started sharing these with friends. She tried to teach her friends, but quickly discovered that what they really wanted was for her to make it for them! So began her little business, The Fermentary.     Her products quickly won a following, alongside acclaim in the restaurant world. Now, with new partner chef Roger Fowler, her business is not so little; they sell both wholesale to leading Sydney and Melbourne restaurants and retailers, as well as direct to their customers at farmers' markets. As well, Sharon conducts regular workshops in Victoria and beyond. Sharon was also fortunate enough to spend a fortnight in late 2015 undertaking an intensive, advanced fermenting workshop with Sandor Katz (described by The New York Times as one of the unlikely rock stars of the American food scene) at his home in Cannon County, Tennessee.     Topics discussed:   Sharon’s origin story Sharon’s love of fermented foods The Danish pig farm The Japanese Fermentation Odyssey Pickles at the Jewish Neighbourhood in Chicago Community Supported Agricultural in Seattle- Jubilee Farms Meeting Sandor Katz Making Sourdough and Cheese Science Experiments Moving to Belgium A sick daughter and antibiotics Putting bacteria back in the gut The GAPS book Introducing Fermented Foods "That Drink”- Water Kefir "Die off" Reaction Teaching people how to make Water Kefir Dealing in Ferments Names on tags Running a Small Batch Fermenting business Fake Fermented Foods- Kefir and Kombucha Getting the real deal- bacterial diversity and real carbonation Fear of alcohol vs healthy low alcohol  Health Tinctures The evolution of fermented foods Making your Fermented Foods Clarity in Food Label of Fermented Foods Challenges around the manufacture of real fermented foods Pickles vs Fermented Foods An easy fermented food to start with- Brined Carrots Recipe Flavouring a brine with herbs and spices Preventing Kahm yeast Fermenting with joy and wonder Bringing back our old traditions Sharon’s top tip for Gut Health Functional Peptides in Milk Kefir Flavouring milk kefir Tryptophan and Milk Kefir Milk Kefir before bed Roger’s heart burn story Pets and milk kefir Appetite suppression of milk kefir   Brought to you by:   Nourishme Organics your online shop for Fermented Food Cultures and Home Fermentation Equipment   https://www.nourishmeorganics.com.au/     Shop fermentation cultures and accessories online today and use code sharon for 10% off   Grab a copy of Sharon Flynn book - Ferment for Good       Connect with Sharon Flynn   Website- https://www.thefermentary.com.au/   Connect with Kriben Govender:    Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/kribengee/ Instagram- https://www.instagram.com/kribengovender/ Youtube- https://www.youtube.com/c/Nourishmeorganics?sub_confirmation=1 Gut Health Gurus Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/nourishmeorganics/ Deuterium Depletion Support Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/347845406055631/   Download links               If you enjoyed this episode and would like to show your support:   1) Please subscribe on Apple Podcasts, give us 5 stars and leave a positive review     Instructions:   - Click this link  https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/gut-health-gurus-podcast/id1433882512?mt=2   - Click "View in Itunes" button on the left-hand side - This will open the Itunes app - Click the "Subscribe" button - Click on "Ratings and Reviews" tab - Click on "Write a Review" button   Non-Itunes users can leave a Google Review here: https://goo.gl/9aNP0V     2) Subscribe, like and leave a positive comment on Youtube   https://www.youtube.com/c/Nourishmeorganics?sub_confirmation=1   3) Share your favourite episode on Facebook, Instagram, and Stories 4) Let your friends and family know about this Podcast by email, text, messenger etc   Thank you so much for your support. 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