We can guarantee that there’s a lot of food out there you haven’t tried. And, among that, there’ll be plenty of fermented foods that have yet to tantalise your tastebuds.
Sauerkraut may be a weird concept to some cultures, but it’s likely that they have their own fermented food that you might just find a little bit weird and wacky! Here are a few that we’ve discovered.
#1 Fermented rice - Taipai
A popular Southeast Asian morsel, Taipai (sometimes called tape) is made from glutinous rice or cassava that’s been left to ferment in banana leaves for around two days.
It’s a delicacy, known for it’s tart, sour and slightly alcoholic taste. Taipai can be eaten on its own, or cooked with other ingredients, such as egg. In China, this is believed to help strengthen new mothers, ready to dive into parenthood with energy.
#2 Fermented palm sap - Toddy
If a tree oozes a milky white liquid, your first thought isn’t exactly, “Oooh, let’s drink it!” However, in places such as Africa, Asia and India, the sap from palm trees turn into a delicious alcoholic drink!
Sometimes also referred to as palm wine, toddy is quite different to a hot toddy (typically a warm liquor with honey, tea and herbs). What makes this toddy so exciting is that as soon as sap is extracted from a palm tree, it starts to ferment on it’s own. After only two hours, it’s ready to drink!
Toddy needs to be consumed fresh or it will continue to ferment beyond a drinkable condition.
#3 Fermented shark - Hákarl
Over in Iceland, you’ll find this national dish and delicacy - dried and fermented shark. It’s the type of food that requires an acquired taste, and if you can stand to eat strong, smelly cheese, you may just have the stomach for this!
Hákarl smells of ammonia because the process of fermentation involves burying pieces of shark for up to a year to release poisonous chemical compounds that make a fresh shark inedible.
If you feel up for the challenge, just be glad to know that they’ve upgraded from traditional methods. After burying the shark, the Hákarl creators used to urinate over it to help the fermentation process!
Sauerkraut doesn’t seem so bad now, does it?
So there you have it. If you’re not yet used to the taste of sauerkraut, remember, it could be a lot wackier than just fermented vegetables!
While the above three foods are indeed fermented, they’re not necessarily probiotic like our products are. That’s because probiotic foods require an active growth - in the case of Hákarl, we don’t think anything would be living after digging up a dried shark that’s been fermenting for a year!