Fermentation, in all its permutations, is one of the biggest food trends in 2017. Like unattended kefir grains, it has mushroomed into a formidable foodie movement, invading menus and health stores with the promise of umami flavours and superior digestion. Along with its de rigueur bedfellows of virtue — matcha and broth — fermented foods are nothing new. But with the emergence of the mainstream health movement and emphasis on gut health, the revival of this ancient method of preservation is enjoying a bubbling comeback. James Kuiper, founder of probiotic-centric brand Sexy Food, says fermented foods are "as old as the hills. Before we had freezers and canned food, everyone had to do this, and in Southern Africa cultured foods have been part of a traditional diet for centuries. Records from the 17th century show evidence of communities fermenting milk, maize meal, sorghum porridge and beverages." Fermentation is achieved when "good for you" bacteria and yeast are introduced to foods...

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