Holiday Report - Part 2

Hi <<First Name>>,

Holiday report, part 2!

On our recent European holiday, we were looking forward to discovering the range of fermented foods available.

During our 3 weeks in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, we found ...
  • a processed milk kefir that came in natural or flavoured bottles in the local rural supermarkets.
  • the plain milk kefir was bland - it didn’t have that sour flavour.
  • the strawberry flavoured milk kefir was sweet as it contained sugar, maize starch and colouring!
Some supermarkets also stocked a cultured buttermilk that had that lovely sour flavour. There was plenty of flavoured yoghurt available but we really had to search for the natural probiotic ones.

Since our last visit to my family's home village in rural Scotland, a Polish deli has been established there, and I was excited thinking about the variety of fermented foods I would find there. Sadly there was no milk kefir and they only had bottled sauerkraut on the shelf. I was so disappointed!  

The other fermented foods I found in Scotland were a flavoured kombucha in a health shop in Aberdeen and sourdough bread in village bakeries and fresh market stalls.

In the Scottish museum in Edinburgh, I found a soft cheese dish from 100AD. It was about 20 cms wide, had a pouring lip and a gritted base. You would pour fresh milk into the dish and the bacteria would stick to the grit and then culture the milk into a soft cheese. The lip meant that the whey could be poured off.

Next, we spent one week in County Galway, Ireland. There wasn't much opportunity to find what was available but we were very happy to find cultured buttermilk in a Galway supermarket and sourdough bread baked by a French baker at a fresh market stall in the little town of Roundstone.

Then we went onto Italy for 7 weeks. In the little village Mario’s family comes from, his cousin served us some sheep’s milk cheese that had been fermented in a sheep’s stomach. We found this cheese in little supermarkets all over Calabria.  

The only widespread fermented food we found was sourdough bread. In Italy, every village bakery had sourdough. In the Basilicata region in southern Italy, they even advertised the special sourdough bread in tourist brochures.

When we ate at a restaurant, a basket of sourdough bread was placed on the table.  We had a fascinating conversation with one of Mario’s cousins who was into sourdough in a very big way. There are many more types of flour available in Italy than here. Each region grows a type of wheat that suits the area.

The last leg of our holiday was in Malta where we found the sourdough bread served in restaurants, just like Italy. We didn’t have enough time to find more.

When speaking to people about fermenting, it was nurses, food technology teachers and people who had health challenges that either knew most about fermenting or were more interested.

Of course we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, eating around Europe!  In Scotland, it was haggis served with whisky sauce, tatties and neeps [potatoes and turnips ].  In Italy there was such respect for serving delicious food made up of simple ingredients, preferably home grown. We spent one day on a farm near Tropea, Calabria, learning to cook local dishes. We harvested the food, visited the farm animals and then prepared a local feast and ate it! Delightful.

Even though we had an active holiday, walking up to 20kms a day, we returned home with a few extra unwanted kilos! We are very grateful to have fermented food in our lives. We’ve now been home for 4 weeks and back to eating fermented food regularly.  We’ve both lost more than 4 kilo’s in those 4 weeks just by putting fermented food in our mouths. I love the way fermented food produces low waves of blood sugar and that it makes you feel sated.

Fermented Food "in the news" - Holiday reading

Can you make clothing out of bacteria? Yes! I loved this article about Queenslanders making clothing and footwear from kombucha SCOBYs.  

When I read this story, that the author always has something pickled or fermented in the fridge, I thought she must be my clone!
How pickling, preserving and fermenting became fashionable 

Updated workshop content!

All the Fermented Food workshops have been updated and refreshed - for all the details check out our Workshops page at:

Introduction to fermenting vegetables, fruit, dairy & kombucha
$75     Learn how to ferment:
  • Quark, butter, cream
  • Milk kefir, coconut kefir
  • Sauerkraut, Kimchi, Tomato salsa
  • Fruit and nut medley
  • First ferment Kombucha
More fermented vegetables, fruit, dairy & kombucha
$100   Learn how to ferment:
  • Yoghurt, Labneh cheese, kefir cheese
  • ice cream, probiotic mousse
  • zucchini relish, onion relish
  • apple sauce
  • 2nd ferment kombucha
Fermenting nuts, turmeric, ginger, beans, chick peas and more kombucha
$100  Learn how to ferment:
  • Fermented nuts, flavoured nuts
  • Nut meal, nut flour, nut butter
  • Nut cheese
  • Turmeric lime soda, ginger beer
  • Bean paste, Hummus
  • Kombucha vinegar and its many uses
Fermenting rice, oats, lentils and sourdough
$100  Learn how to ferment:
  • Porridge, Rice, Lentils,
  • how to make Dosa and Idli
  • Sourdough starter, sourdough loaf
  • Sourdough flat bread, and pancakes
  • Sourdough chocolate cake, and banana muffins
Making traditional pasta, sourdough pasta & vegetable sauces
$75  Learn how to make:
  • Traditional pasta
  • Sourdough pasta
  • Traditional tomato sauce
  • Mediterranean pesto sauce

Probiotics "on the go"!

We were very grateful we took Modere Probiotic with us for 3 months - a great way to help your gut bacteria flourish, wherever you are!

Modere has a wide range of cost-effective, everyday essential personal & home care products.  We use Modere products because they are safe to use, and they work.


Modere is a member of the Environmental Working Group's EWG Verified™ program. This program makes it easy for consumers to choose personal and home care products that are safe to use, free of harmful ingredients, and environmentally friendly.

Use promotion code 082262 and enjoy $10 off your first order (minimum purchase $50).  Check out the great range of Modere products at

You can always view previous editions of this Newsletter at our website:

Saturday workshops begin again in late January 2017. The next newsletter will be published in February 2017.

Mario and I wish you and your family a happy, healthy and safe Christmas. We look forward to hearing about your fermenting adventures!

Regards, Ros
Current 2017 Workshop Schedule

If you have a PayPal account, you can now pay for your workshop directly, by sending the course fee to
Confirm your enrolment with PayPal. Remember to send a message, stating which course you wish to attend.

use your Surname as the payment reference.)

Introduction to Fermented Foods – vegetables, fruit, dairy & kombucha
$75/person         28 January 2017 (workshop full!)
                             25 February 2017 (4 seats available)
          Morning tea provided; participants will receive a workbook with recipes.

More Fermented vegetables, fruit, dairy & kombucha
$100/person         11 February 2017
           Morning tea provided; participants will receive a workbook with recipes.
Fementing nuts, turmeric, ginger, beans, chickpeas & more kombucha
$100/person         4 March 2017
           Morning tea provided; participants will receive a workbook with recipes.
Fermenting rice, oats, lentils and sourdough
$100/person         4 February 2017
           Morning tea provided; participants will receive a workbook with recipes.

Making traditional pasta, sourdough pasta & vegetable sauces
$75/person         18 February 2017    (10am start)
           Pasta feast for lunch! Participants will receive a guidebook and recipes.
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