Mastering Fermentation

“Mary Karlin has done it again, getting me all excited about the passions we share, as she previously did with cheesemaking and wood-fired cooking.”
Peter Reinhart,
author of Artisan Bread Everyday and Bread Baker’s Apprentice.

“Mastering Fermentation is full of recipes and ideas that are imminently doable and also delicious”.
Deborah Madison,
author of Vegetable Literacy and Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

Artisan Cheese Making at Home

“Part cookbook, part textbook, and part travel guide through the world of hand-crafted cheeses, Artisan Cheese Making at Home is both educational and inspirational”.
Jill Giacomini Basch,
Managing Partner, Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company

“If you thought reading about making cheese couldn’t be exciting, this book will change your mind. Mary Karlin’s expert advice, instruction, and passion for cheese making come together to create a page-turning tome that allows us to become DIYers and artisans all at once.”
Laura Werlin,
author of Mac and Cheese, Please! and Laura Werlin’s Cheese Essentials

Wood-Fired Cooking

“A wood fire is always the heart and hearth of a social gathering—I never feel more at home than when I'm cooking over the flames. Mary Karlin's comprehensive and beautiful book introduces you to one of our most ancient, basic, and satisfying ways to cook.”
Alice Waters,
founder and co-owner of Chez Panisse and author of The Art of Simple Food

“In Wood-Fired Cooking, Mary Karlin combines the romance of the fire with practical information and really delicious recipes that are easy to prepare. A surefire hit.”
Joyce Goldstein,
chef and author of Back to Square One and Italian Slow and Savory

Frequently Asked Questions

What are fermented foods?

Food transformed in texture and taste through fermentation. Fermentation is a process through which food (solid or liquid) goes through a chemical change caused by enzymes produced by bacteria, microbes, or yeast. Think sauerkraut. This is one example of a simple food (cabbage) transformed by the mere introduction of salt to encourage the development of beneficial bacteria; softening the cabbage, amplifying the taste, and rendering it more digestible. As a benefit, the nutritional and healthful value is greatly increased through fermentation.

I’ve recently been seeing many articles on fermented foods. Why is the topic of fermented food so popular?

More and more people are interested in a variety of DIY food making at home, be it beer, cheese, bread, sausage making, or pickles. This is part of a DIY trend back to making delicious, healthy foods in your own kitchen; knowing where your food comes from, and having control over how it is made.

My goal is to make many of the foods I feed to my family. Can I make fermented foods in my home kitchen?

Absolutely, you can make delicious and healthy fermented foods in your own kitchen. There are many foods you can ferment at home with little time and effort on your part. Others you may choose, such as making aged cheese or curing meats, will take more attention. With proper planning, all are doable as part of one’s daily life.

Many recipes and guidelines are presented in Mastering Fermentation and in the Fermented Foods & Recipes sections of this site. Many cultures or other supplies needed for food fermentation can be purchased through the ads or via links on the Resources page.