It was heartening to see such support and interest from the city's diverse community for Cultured Coffee alongside all things fermented.
Here are some of the top fermentation trends we noticed at the show:
Healthier Vegetables, with a Twist
Many of the vendors at this year's show are working to make new versions of traditional foods or explore concepts like double-fermentation.
- Kimchi specialists Mama O's showed off their new kimchi-based hot sauce, a twist on fermentation and a popular sauce.
- Contraband Ferments, a Brooklyn fermentation duo, combined different forms of traditional fermentation with a display of miso-fermented foods.
Not content with merely fermenting vegetables, many of the companies at the show also explored different flavors and textures to set their products apart.
For example, the delicate yet flavorful turmeric kraut from Hudson Valley fermentation lab Hawthorne Valley is finely-shredded in comparison to its crisp and robust counterpart from Massachusetts vendors Real Pickles.
Craft Fermented Beverage Revival
With lines queueing for a taster, it looks as if mead is set for a craft revival of beer-like proportions. New York mead makers in particular, as well as braggot (mead's maltier cousin) producers, may get a boost from proposed changes designed to support small producers by allowing them to sell their beverage onsite and by the glass.
Kombucha-makers, in the meantime, each vied for attention with a range of increasingly exotic flavors. For example fellow Brooklyn producers Pilot Kombucha, our booth neighbors at the show, showed off a line of kombuchas with floral and citrus flavors (as well as coffee!).
Traditional Fermented Foods Are Big Again
The crowds jostling for position to sample local cave-aged cheese, artisanal vinegar and traditional Japanese foods like natto, made from fermented soy beans, showed renewed consumer interest in traditional fermented crafts and flavors.
Vinegar specialist and author Michael Harlan-Turkell, manning the festival's fermentation-focused book stand, fielded questions from consumers eager to deep-dive into the specialist techniques used to make both vinegar and other fermented foods.
Finally, the large selection and popularity of craft beers at the festival indicate this century's craft beer revival in the United States shows no signs of abating.
In summary, the abundance of recipes and vendors at the show were a positive sign that the plant-based fermentation movement is gaining momentum. Here's to that!