Originally Posted by OregonYeti
Very interesting video, Luc! Thanks for joining the conversation. I know you have a lot of years of experience with fermentation. If you can give some light on the organisms used for fermentation, the different environments they do well in, the foods and beverages made with the kinds of fermenting organisms, and how we can make the different processes work as we want them to - kind of asking a lot, but if you can give a general idea, I'd really like it.
Ouch! that's a tall order for a web forum. I'm afraid it would require a very long post to cover just the basics (boring).
let me start with this intro in the hopes it generates questions:
fermentation is a generic term for using microbes to preserve food. Preserving means to extent the storage of perishable foods. At it's basics that means to prevent the food from making you sick which is accomplished by preventing pathogens from growing in the food.
Fermentation prevents the pathogens from taking hold by acidification of the food and/or by overcrowding the food called bioprotection.
fermenting microbes eat sugars to make acids i.e. lactose in milk to lactic acid in yoghurt, glucose in meat to fermented cured sausage, etc..
Microbes in fermented foods are very aggressive, they protect their turf like street gangs, by overcrowding the food they prevent other microbes like pathogens from taking hold i.e. bioprotection.
ex. cheese skin and all other unpasteurized fermented foods.
Fish sauce is a particular fermentation whereas the proteins are liquified with particular microbes that live comfortably in brine. Pathogens cannot tolerate high salt environment.
Other uses of fermentation is to create alcohol (obviously) and gaz bubbles as with beer, champagne and bread.
Alcoholic foods can be transformed to vinegar (acidification) using a different type of fermentation ex. hard cider to cider vinegar, rice wine to rice vinegar, etc...
Fermentation in other words is the process of spoiling food in a control fashion because it's kinda obvious that every fermented food was discovered by accident by tasting a spoiled food that didn't make you sick and kinda tasted good (the right microbes under the right circumstances).