ConversatioNZ is about bringing together people who have impact on the food industry here in New Zealand - chefs, writers, growers, artisan producers and the food distributors.
We dream big! We want to challenge, inspire and push ourselves to the next level, to have a voice of our own and create strong community around food in New Zealand.
The list of topics is extremely broad and ranges from foraging, to fungi and wine - as well as kombucha, of course!
Here is a short overview over what I will presenting:
The Art of the Leaf meats the Art of the Bubble – Elevating the fermentation of Kombucha
Traditional fermentation has been an integral part of indigenous culinary wisdom for millennia. During the 20th century, the advent of refrigeration, chemical additives and modern processing techniques removed the necessity for fermentation as the central means of food preservation.
In the last decade, however, the availability of properly fermented foods has fuelled mainstream food movements such as the 'Paleo Diet'. The driver is another practical aspect of fermentation, this time focused on the increased bio-availability of nutrients created through the fermentation process.
Today, a new movement is taking place, lifting fermentation to an art form through access to information on traditional processing methods, high quality ingredients, all pulled together by an adventurous culinary spirit. The recent explosion of the artisan crafted kombucha industry clearly illustrates this development. Kombucha, a fermented tea, was traditionally brewed as a health tonic with little regard to flavour. But a new breed of visionary producers are pushing the boundaries towards a sophistication that is more akin to the boutique wine industry.
During my research into traditional fermentation, I came across some very interesting information about the development of scientific interest in the subject. While publications prior to 1995 added up to roughly 1,500 we now (April 2015) have over 14,000 publications* on the subject! And besides the sheer numbers, the trend over time is very interesting, indeed. As it appears, we aren't even close to the peak in interest for this ancient wisdom! There are some exciting times ahead...
* Results are based on scientific peer-reviewed journal articles and books available through www.sciencedirect.com.