I can't help but gush about my favorite moment of today's Heritage Harvest Festival: meeting Sandor Katz -- the inspired author of "Wild Fermentation." I have blathered on about this book a few times on the blog, yes. Kim chi. Sourdough. Yoghurt. Pickles. Lebneh. Sauerkraut. If there is a fermentation bible, this book is it.
[Note: I generally turn my nose up at any cookbook that markets itself as any kind of "bible." The Bread Bible. The Cake Bible. Bah. This is the real deal... and there is no "bible" in the title. Though the author could probably walk on water. Or kombucha, rather. The man knows fermented foods, and any food lover I have ever met that has heard of his book loves it. And owns it, actually.]
I was skulking about the postcard section of the Monticello museum shop for a good 20 minutes before he showed up for a book signing, unescorted and unassuming in a plaid shirt. In spite of being a celebrity of sorts, Sandorkraut was really very personable and down to earth. We had a chance to chit chat for a bit before he signed my well-marked, dog-eared copy of the manifesto on food diversity and self-reliance. On the page with the kim chi recipe, of course. And then I overcame my natural shyness -- what, I am shy! -- to ask him to take a quick picture together. (Unlike that time I stood 3 feet from Michael Pollan, tongue-tied and blushing, at the Food For Thought Festival a few years ago. See? I've come a long way.)
Boy, oh, boy. Not only did I learn that Mr. Katz has a new book coming out -- more to learn, and likely more fermentation ideas to integrate into my own food education adventures around town -- but he'll be in DC this spring for a talk. I wonder if he'd like some of that wild-caught sourdough starter that I've been nurturing for about a year now. Is it weird for a fan to show up to a book talk with a jar of fermenting local yeast?
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