culinary history

Workshop Sept 24th ~ Sauerkraut, kimchi & more: learn the traditional art of lacto-fermentation

Sourdough bread, anchovies, chocolate, cheese, Kosher dill pickles and yogurt… what do these all have in common? They are all products of lacto-fermentation.
Lacto-fermentation is a complicated word for a simple process: a way to preserve food by allowing it to ferment.
You can learn the art of lacto-fermentation on Sunday, September 24th from 1:30 to 4:30pm at the Albert County Museum in Hopewell Cape.


To preserve certain foods, such as sourdough or yogurt, a culture is added to the fresh food. The culture (i.e., a bit of yogurt or bread dough) contains microorganisms that transform the raw ingredient into a more stable and nutritious food.
Preserving vegetables is even more simple. Basically, you can preserve vegetables by adding water and salt.  No boiling water baths, no pressure cookers…. Just a few simple steps. The result is placed in a cool place and allowed to ferment.
The preserves are more digestible than the original vegetables and the food contains probiotics.
Every culture has a tradition of lacto-fermentation. For example, cabbage is preserved as sauerkraut in Germany and preserved (along with hot peppers and other vegetables) as Kimchi in Korea.
You can learn the art of lacto-fermentation on Sunday, September 24th from 1:30 to 4:30pm at the Albert County Museum in Hopewell Cape.
Ruth Merrett will show participants how to make their own ferments. At the end of the workshop, you will take home not only the skills to preserve food but also at least three jars of preserved vegetables.
Participants will bring vegetables and jars, and return home with new skills and three bottles of preserves. Cost: $15.
Advance registration is required. Contact the museum by dropping by, by calling 734-2003, or email Janet Wallace at
This project has been made possible in part by the Government of Canada. Ce projet a été rendu possible en partie par le gouvernement du Canada.

Once you learn the basics, try these recipes
Apple Spice Sauerkraut
3 apples, grated,  per medium sized cabbage
1 tablespoon of grated ginger per cabbage
1 teaspoon cinnamon per cabbage
¼ or less teaspoon ground clove per cabbage
Chop cabbage, massage and add salt.
Add all the other ingredients.
Pack tightly in a jar and cover with a filter or cloth. Taste daily. Refrigerate when you are happy with the taste.

Basic Salsa from Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon
4 medium tomatoes, diced
2 small onions, finely chopped
3⁄4 cup chile peppers, hot or mild
6-8 cloves garlic
1 bunch cilantro
1 teaspoon dried oregano
juice of 2 lemons or limes
1 tablespoon of sea salt
1⁄4 cup clean, unchlorinated drinking water (may not be necessary) 
Mix, press into jars. Let ferment 1 to 2 days in a warm kitchen and then put in the fridge. Use a glass weight to keep the mass under liquid or pour olive oil on top.

Summer savory - the herb of Acadie

Summer savory

Summer savory

Summer savory plays a significant role in the food culture of Atlantic Canada. The herb is associated with holiday food and traditional meals. For example, turkey stuffing is often made with summer savory rather than sage (which is common in the rest of Canada).

Summer savory (“sarriette” in French) plays a special role in Acadian food culture. The herb is the main seasoning in fricot (rabbit or chicken stew) in Acadian communities in New Brunswick. It is also a component of the Herbes de Provence mix.

L’Ancienne d’Acadie is a Canadian variety of summer savory with a multicultural history – reflecting the various people who have lived in the region. It may have originally been brought to what is now New Brunswick by French or British settlers. Compared to modern varieties of summer savory, l’Ancienne d’Acadie is a short, stocky plant with a strong flavour.

The variety has been passed down from generation to generation. Jean Prudent Robichaud (1867-1958) received the seed from a woman from the Esgenoôpetitj First Nation at Burnt Church, NB, while he was working on Mi’kmaq farms using his draft horse. Burnt Church was a French settlement and Mi’kmaq community named for the incident in 1758 when the British burned the community’s church as part of the Acadian expulsion. Jean-Prudent’s descendants maintained the variety, which has been incorporated in the Slow Food Canada Ark of Taste.

You can learn how to grow summer savory and enjoy a delicious meal of fricot at the Albert County Museum on Saturday, July 29, 2017. All of this, including a garden tour and a lively discussion of the origins of fricot, costs just $8 with admission to the museum or a membership to the Albert County Historical Society (or $10 for others).

Please reserve tickets at the museum or by calling 734-2003 before July 26. The event starts at 11am and continues to at least 2pm. Cette démonstration est offerte en français et en anglais; this demonstration is offered in French and English.

This is part of Growing Together – a project which celebrates Canada's 150th year through food, seeds and stories! This has been made possible in part by the Government of Canada. 

For more information about the lunch, museum garden or storytelling project, please contact Janet Wallace at or Melody Land at 734-2003.