We’re obsessed with fermented and preserved foods, and we’re not alone. In the past 5 to 10 years, there has been a marked increase in fermented, jarred and cured creations adorning plates in restaurants and sold at farmers’ markets and stores across the country. There’s also been a growing and passionate movement to ferment and cure at home, bringing with it the rich, funky flavors and unique nutritional benefits affiliated with fermentation.
We’ve compiled a list of our 40 favorite print and online sources for solid advice, techniques, science and recipes covering many aspects of fermentation and preserving. They were selected based on their accessibility for home kitchens (some even focus on small-batch preserving) and effectiveness in conveying the more complex concepts of the craft. Take advantage of the final weeks of the harvest season and start your ferments!
(You may notice we’ve omitted the practice of homebrewing, wine and spirit making, and smoking fish and meat, as these categories are quite expansive and require a different set of tools to create.)
Fermentation: Vegetables, Fruit & More
Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods, 2nd Edition, Sandor Ellix Katz (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2016; first published 2003)
Fermented Vegetables, Kirsten and Christopher Shockey (Storey Publishing, 2014)
Ferment Your Vegetables, Amanda Feifer (Fair Winds Press, 2015)
Fermented: A Beginner’s Guide to Making Your Own Sourdough, Yogurt, Sauerkraut, Kefir, Kimchi, and More, Charlotte Pike (Kyle Books, 2015)
Preserving the Japanese Way, Nancy Singleton Hachisu (Andrews McMeel, 2015)
Bread: A Baker’s Book of Techniques and Recipes, Jeffery Hamelman (Wiley, second edition, 2012; first published 2004)
Flour Water Salt Yeast: The Fundamentals of Artisan Bread and Pizza, Ken Forkish (Ten Speed Press, 2012)
Tartine Book No. 3: Modern Ancient Classic Whole, Chad Robertson (Chronicle Books, 2013)
Bread Revolution: World-Class Baking With Sprouted and Whole Grains, Heirloom Flours, and Fresh Techniques, Peter Reinhart (Ten Speed Press, 2014)
Salumi: The Craft of Italian Dry Curing, Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn (W. W. Norton & Company, 2012)
In the Charcuterie: The Fatted Calf’s Guide to Making Sausage, Salumi, Pâtés, Roasts, Confits, and Other Meaty Goods, Taylor Boetticher and Toponia Miller (Ten Speed Press, 2013)
Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing, Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn (W. W. Norton & Company, 2013)
Olympia Provisions: Cured Meats and Tales From an American Charcuterie, Elias Cairo and Meredith Erickson (Ten Speed Press, 2015)
Putting Food By: 5th Edition, Ruth Hertzberg and Janet Greene (Plume, 2010; first edition, 1973)
Saving the Season: A Cook’s Guide to Home Canning, Pickling, and Preserving, Kevin West (Knopf, 2013 )
Preserving by the Pint, Marisa McClellan (Running Press, 2014)
Home Cheese Making: Recipes for 75 Homemade Cheeses, Ricki Carroll (Storey Publishing, 2002)
Milk: The Surprising Story of Milk Through the Ages, Anne Mendelson (Knopf, 2008)
Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking: The Ultimate Guide for Home-Scale and Market Producers, Gianaclis Caldwell (Chelsea Green, 2012)
Food History/Reference Books
Pickled, Potted and Canned: The Story of Food Preserving, Sue Shephard (Headline Book Publishing, 2000)
The Art of Fermentation: An In-Depth Exploration of Essential Concepts and Processes From Around the World, Sandor Ellix Katz and Michael Pollan (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2012)
The Oxford Companion to Cheese, ed. Catherine Donnelly (Oxford University Press, 2016)
Additional reading: Cookbooks With Fermented Flavors
Fäviken, Magnus Nilsson (Phaidon, 2012)
Smoke & Pickles, Edward Lee (Artisan Books, 2013)
These are some of the online sites and communities that we have found to have useful information, recipes, Q&As or links to classes, shops and tools.
Wildfermentation.com: Started by author Sandor Ellix Katz, this comprehensive site has links to resources, community forums, classes and more. Also exists as Facebook group Wild Fermentation.
Ferment.works: Fantastic troubleshooting and community forum run by authors Kirsten and Christopher Shockey.
Punkdomestics.com: Community-driven resource, run by Sean Timberlake, with recipes, questions, tools and blog posts as well as links to other sites.
Phickle.com: Recipe blog with recipes and stories from author Amanda Feifer’s travels.
Puttingupwitherin.com: Food blog with mostly canning/some ferments run by Erin Urquhart. Good site. Easy approach.
Foodinjars.com: Run by author Melissa McClellan, author of three canning books. Great site, all about canning, not necessarily fermenting.
USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning: This is the how and why behind safe canning. A trusted resource revised in 2006.
Chef- or science-focused sites
Nordicfoodlab.org: Science-based fermentation lab located in Denmark (NOMA).
Ourdailybrine.com: Run by Kyle Hildebrandt. Chef-driven ferments: food science, charcuterie, tools and gear.
Microbialfoods.org: Run by Bronwen Percival and Benjamin Wolfe. Scientific resource for artisan microbial foods. Articles on the science of fermentation and microbes.
Thecheesemaker.com: Wisconsin-based supplier of cheesemaking and fermentation starters.
Cheesemaking.com: New England cheese-making supply company run by author Ricki Carroll and her daughter Sarah. With lists on where to find good milk, tools and equipment needed for home cheese-making.
Weckjars.com: Official site of Weck Jars
Freshpreserving.com: Official site of Ball and Kerr Jars