Lately I have been working on a lot of fermentation projects for my upcoming show, so this post is a review of the processes and different ferments involved in the show.
About two weeks ago I started a mead for a sculpture in the show. I brewed it with wild yeast and bacteria from grapes and apples. After it got sufficiently bubbly, I added heather to flavor it. The heather is a tribute to the uptown neighborhood I have lived in for eight years. Fort Tryon park, right around the corner from my apartment, has a beautiful heather garden that I enjoy during every season, and practically every day. Heather is a year-round ground cover with small flowers. It also happens to be a traditional ingredient for mead. According to Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers, heather mead (or ale) was brewed for ceremonial use by the ancient Picts, who give us the origin of the word picture because they were adorned with tattoos and body paint. The heather has a subtle bitter and delightful flavor, a more delicate flavor than hops, but used for the same purpose in the flavor profile.
For another sculpture I made three fermented hot pepper/ hot sauce combinations. Jalapeños, onions, carrots, and garlic are a staple on my condiment shelf. The onions don't blend into a pretty hot sauce/ salsa, so I usually keep them chopped. But, for a chipotle hot sauce I combined the jalapenos, onions, carrots, chipotles, and paprika for more color. (not pictured)
I'm also making a large amount of other ferments for the shelf in the show (to be eaten March 9). I tried one of these brined tomatillos a couple days in. They were awesome. Highly recommended. They taste like cucumber pickles (pretty much) but were easier to control. Cukes can be unpredictable.