Welcome to the Fearless Eating Fermentation Gift Guide!
Thanks to the fermentation revolution more and more people are getting in on the home fermentation craze. I’ve put together some of the more common items that make great fermented gifts (not literally…ha!) – fermentation books, kitchen tools, crocks, kombucha supplies, jars and labels, weights and airlocks and probably my favorite gifts of all, fermentation T-shirts! Seriously, you HAVE to see these shirts. Make sure to scroll down and see all the fun phrases and catchy designs.
OK, let’s kick it off with some fantastic books on a variety of fermentation subjects!
Oh Lardy’s Guide to Fermenting Fruits and Vegetables is a fantastic guide for the fermentation newbie. It includes lots of basic recipes with many kid-friendly recipes such as fermented berries, orange juice, apple juice and lemonade. Yes, you can ferment juices! The authors have given my blog readers a special discount code to save 30%! Just enter code “ferment30” at checkout.
Many credit Wild Fermentation with starting the home fermentation craze. Author Sandor Katz eloquently and passionately captures the joy and creativity of fermenting foods at home. With recipes for pickles, krauts, kimchi, yogurt, kefir, cheese, sourdough breads, beer, mead, wine, and many more, Katz’ message is consistent throughout – experiment and have fun.
The Art of Fermentation is Katz’ epic follow up to Wild Fermentation. A New York Times bestseller, it’s an equally energetic but more detailed exploration of the many fascinating and varied techniques of fermentation from around the world. A great gift for the fermentation enthusiast who’s ready to explore beyond the basics.
Real Food Fermentation is another great option for those just getting started with home fermentation. The advantage of this book is that it’s packed with lots of step-by-step (and beautiful) photos. You’ll see exactly how to cut, chop, slice and dice, press and pack. A great guide for the more visual learners.
Want to learn to brew a variety of fermented drinks at home – cider, beer, wine, soda, mead, kombucha, etc? Look no further than True Brews by Emma Christensen, an outstanding book on all things fermented beverages. Learn the basics and learn how to improvise creative twists like watermelon-mint soda, peach iced-tea kombucha, pineapple-brown sugar cider, apricot wheat ale, blueberry lavender mead and strawberry wine.
Asian Pickles by Karen Solomon is fast becoming one of my most used books on fermentation. A great gift idea for anyone who loves both fermentation and Asian cuisine. Over 75 simple pickle recipes are included from China, Japan, Vietnam, Korea and India.
I am a total kimchi addict. My absolute favorite fermented recipe. I love the classic flavors of ginger, garlic and hot pepper spice mixed with the veggies. Of course, that’s the basic ingredients and in Korea there are hundreds of variations. If you want to expand your kimchi-making repertoire, The Kimchi Cookbook is the book to get!
I’ve had Home Cheesemaking by Ricki Carroll for a few years now but haven’t delved into it quite yet. However, I know many people who cite this book as an essential guide to learning the basics of home cheese making. Recipes include cheddar, gouda, mascarpone, ricotta and mozzarella and many more.
You will not find a better or cheaper tool for making sauerkraut and kimchi than this little gem. Though it’s technically a pastry-shaping tool, it’s double-sided flat-bottomed design makes it absolutely PERFECT for packing and pressing veggies into jars. Makes a great stocking stuffer for the Xmas!
I don’t know too many people who ferment on a large-scale, but if that describes you, this shredder can save a ton of time and process cabbage a lot faster than some of the hand-held shredders and slicers.
You can also click here to see some of the hand-held shredders
I first met Jeremy Ogusky at the Boston Fermentation Festival this past year. He is passionate fermenter and master potter who makes some beautiful hand-crafted fermentation crocks. Each crock includes a lid that weighs down the veggies inside. In my opinion, hand-crafted crocks bring out the true creative spirit of home fermentation. Aren’t these beautiful?
Jeremy offers a wide variety of colors and designs. You can learn more about Jeremy and his work on his website, www.claycrocks.com and you order one of his crocks on his Etsy shop at www.oguskyceramics.etsy.com
Well I’ve finally decided to get one of these puppies. It’s been fun finding funky ways to make yogurt around the house (I’ve used hot water baths, oven lights and radiators) but I’m also tired of inconsistent results (meaning runny yogurt). I’ve just ordered it so I can’t comment on its functionality yet but it has lots of great reviews on Amazon. Another bonus is the glass containers (instead of plastic) and the VERY affordable price.
Ricki Carroll, the author of Home Cheesemaking (listed above), created this cheese-making kit to get the newbie cheesemaker started with the basics. You’ll learn how to make ricotta and mozzarella. The kit includes instructions, recipes and supplies for 30 batches.
This product is technically just a large mason jar but it doubles beautifully as a continuous brew kombucha dispenser. With this dispenser, all you need to do is replenish the sweet tea to the existing tea and scoby. No need to transfer anything from one jar to another. So easy and low maintenance. This is a great gift for the person who goes through a lot of kombucha in their home.
One of the challenges of brewing kombucha at home is the seasonal changes in temperature. Cool temps can slow fermentation and create mold. With this heating strip, the proper temp can be maintained year round!
If I had a dime for every time I a friend posted on Facebook looking for a kombuch scoby, I’d be a rich man. If you can’t find one locally, I couldn’t recommend a better source than from Kombucha Kamp. These are the real deal and come ready to brew (as opposed to dehydrated form which takes weeks to rehydrate into an active culture). You’ll also get the necessary starter liquid, a DIY guide for getting started and a special tea blend. A great product from a great company.
If you’re a kombucha-making enthusiast, click here to see more kombucha supplies from Kombucha Kamp.
And if you’re a kombucha-making newbie, click here to see a basic guide for getting started. It’s only 99 cents!
Most people I know ferment things in small batches and use mason jars. This is certainly not the sexiest gift in the world (though fermentation enthusiasts can be kinda weird so you never know) but for someone who loves fermentation, a variety of different sized jars is invaluable. Depending on what I’m fermenting I’ll use 8oz, 12oz, 16oz or 32oz jars.
When I teach people how to ferment things, I recommend making a few different batches with varying amounts of veggies, spice, herbs, etc. It’s nice to get different flavor profiles, see what you like best and then easily recreate the recipes in the future. These reusable chalk labels are ideal for that. And of course you can also use it to label the dates. This product also comes as a side label as well.
Because nothings says, “I love you” like airlocks and fermentation weights, right? I love the look of the above glass weights and the convenience of the lids with the airlocks attached (as opposed to the DIY version of punching a hole and using grommets) but there are many different types that fit different sized jars.
Those are pics of my own homemade bottled soda. The one on the left is lacto-fermented blueberry soda and the one on the right is lacto-fermented raspberry soda. They are so unbelievably easy to make. The reusable flip-cap bottles are fantastic for sealing and increasing carbonation. Pick up a copy of True Brews above and then pick up some soda bottles to get started.
Cultures for Health has a great line of fermentation starters for making kefir, water kefir, sourdough bread and yogurt.
If you have additional gift ideas, simply comment below and I’ll continue to update this page in the future!
Craig Fear is the creator of Fearless Eating and the author of three books, The 30-Day Heartburn Solution, Fearless Broths and Soups and The Thai Soup Secret. After years helping clients with digestive issues, Craig decided to pursue writing full-time. He intends to write many more books on broths and soups from around the world! Click here to learn more about Craig.