Cultures all over the world have fermented dishes that are unique to them. For Koreans, kimchi is a staple that shows up at nearly every meal! With rice, meat, other vegetables, kimchi is packed with so much flavor that it goes with almost anything! Other foods like cheeses, pickles, kombucha, and stinky tofu are beloved for similarly strong flavors. But why do we love fermented foods so much?
They’re Just So Tasty!
The fermentation process may sound a little icky when you think about how long they can last, but there are some delicious flavors that you can’t achieve with any other cooking process. Filled with umami and just enough saltiness, nothing’s better than a bowl of sour kimchi or a large chunk of blue cheese.
Some fermented foods aren’t necessarily savory but have that distinct sourness that you know and love. From Greek yogurt to buttermilk to sauerkraut, there’s just something so satisfyingly delicious about puckered lips.
You Can Get All the Vitamins You Can Imagine
Way way back in the day before Korea had fancy things like refrigeration, Koreans needed to figure out a way to preserve vegetables, especially during the winter season. Koreans knew the importance of vegetables in a healthy diet, so they made up a way to preserve them. By sprinkling cabbage and other vegetables with salt and red chili pepper and storing these recipes in cool dark places, they were able to produce kimchi.
Fermented vegetables are filled with vitamins and almost never go bad. If you’re always buying greens from the supermarket but can never seem to finish, maybe you should think about pickles!
They Help Lose Weight
Kimchi in particular is known for its capsaicin, which may be related to improved metabolism and weight loss. Other fermented foods have probiotics, good bacteria, and promote hormones that suppress hunger. If you’ve been trying to shave off a few pounds and just can’t seem to find a diet that works for you, consider adding fermented dishes to your meals.
You Can Make Them at Home
A lot of different fermented foods are easy to make at home. With yogurt and sourdough bread, you just need a started and a bit of patience to get delicious homemade staples. For foods like kimchi and pickles, you just need fresh veggies, salt, and a few jars to make the magic happen.
You Can Incorporate Fermented Foods into Every Meal
Maybe for breakfast you want a little bit of Greek yogurt and honey–alone or with your overnight oats. For lunch you can enjoy a delicious omelet or a bowl of kimchi fried rice or both, if you’re hungry. And finish the day with a nice dinner of meat, potatoes, and sauerkraut with a glass of kombucha for dessert!
Enjoy your fermented foods however you like while knowing that you’re doing your body a favor! Still not convinced that fermented foods can change your life? Try some for yourself, and shop around your local grocery store or pick up some of our famous kimchi!