Bård already has several years of experience with various ways to ferment food, beverages and grains, and he is very passionate about. So passionate in fact, that when he expressed some nerves about his upcoming classes a good friend told him not to worry – because now he finally had the chance to talk about fermentation to an audience eager to learn. And with a background from the stage as a musician and actor, stepping into the spotlight should not be a problem. That is after all where he belongs.
And oh, did we mention he is also an avid broth maker? We will get to that later! Let us start with fermentation. What sparked his interest in this ancient technique
– What drew me to fermentation was the health aspect. It became a mission to me, using food as a way to get healthy, Bård says, and explains how he thought it was time to try and let food be his medicine. There had to be a way to deal with the health issues he was facing, and fermentation seemed like a good place to start. He tried to make kombucha, to see what all the fuss was about. It was not love at first taste. His first home made batch just smelled off and tasted weird – and for a while he forgot about fermentation all together.
– But then one day, I came across Gry Hammer’s blog, and she basically became my guru. She writes a lot about fermentation, and shares recipes, and I figured I should give it another go.
That was four years ago, and after many attempts and failures, and an apartment full of fermenting jars of vegetables, grains and different type of brews, Bård felt ready to pass his experience and knowledge on. Together with Food Studio he developed a series of four cooking classes which we dubbed Forgotten Skills of Cooking, where we take a look at these old, healthy ways of preserving and utilising all types of food from vegetables and grains to bones. With and open and humorous approach, he engages the participants in discussions about fermentation and why it is such an interesting way of preserving food and adding flavour and other positive things to food.
– It was so exciting, and I had so much fun. The participants asked so many brilliant questions I even had to read up and explore more when I came home, Bård laughs.
His aspiration is to make fermentation and bone broth accessible to the participants, and show them how easy they can incorporate it into their lives and food routines, so more and more people can discover the flavours and experience the health benefits.
And the easiest place to start if you are a beginner is probably with vegetables. Just chop up some cabbage, garlic, chili, and onion (and ginger, and whatever else you want), mix with lots of salt and be sure you squeeze out enough water so all the vegetables are covered. Let it sit for a few days, and voila! You have just made Korea’s national dish kimchi.
But altough kimchi is a huge hit, Bård has another fermented favourite.
– Ketchup. I love making ketchup! For so many years I ditched it, because it’s packed with sugar and vinegar, but then I found this recipe and I just had to try it. It’s so easy, and tastes amazing, Bård says.
He is equally excited to be able to share the different tastes and health benefits of fermenting different brews as well as grains, and already gave the participants of the first course a taste of both the magical kombucha brew, and the marvelous Southern-American drink Sweet Potato Fly (yes, it most definitely is pretty fly for a fermented sweet potato brew). He promises there will always be an extra treat in his classes, and is continuing to expand his knowledge and trying new things.
– I’ve discovered so much preparing for this course, so the participants have a lot to look forward too in all of them, he says, and adds that he is most excited about the class on grains, seeds and nuts, because there is so much you can do with these nutritious food staples.
– I even ferment my own cereal for breakfast, which again is a great way of introducing this healthy food into your every day diet. And of course the sourdough bread. It’s tricky, and I know it is very discouraging waiting eight or twelve hours, bake a bread and then it just turns out flat and tasteless. I’ve failed a lot, but when you finally get it, it turns our great every time. Hopefully I can help people get to the great part without having to fail so much, he laughs.
And what about broth?
– Yeah, that is kinda the odd ball out in this course. But making your own broth is both super easy, and a great way to introduce healthy, nutritious, real food into your diet. As our generation grew up, food seems to have become more artificial, filled with lots of ingredients we can’t pronounce, and processed beyond recognition. I think it’s crazy! I like to think that I am making food the way my grandmother would have made it, with real, fresh produce. After having my first tomato soup with broth, there was no going back. The taste was so deep and rich, and I could feel how my body needed it.
Healthy and tasty food, packed with nutrition and healthy probiotics for your gut. Why would you not to want to dive into this exciting and fun world? Beats us!