The Art of Fermentation* by Sandor Ellix Katz. It is encyclopedic in content and covers all the essential concepts of fermentation and processes of fermentation from around the world. Lots of them gluten free and vegan!
The huge (almost 500 page) book opens with the basics of fermentation, culture and evolution which is almost a book in itself. This includes the preservation and health benefits as well as the incredible flavours elicited by fermentation. Sandor Ellix Katx describes all the equipment and methods before launching in to all the things you can ferment (everything – really, you can ferment everything).
Sandor Ellix Katz’s descriptions are fascinating and exact. He describes the fermentation of yeast with sugar to form alcohol – and all the different types and methods to produce alcohol and fermenting sour tonic beverages (e.g. kombucha). It also has separate chapters on fermenting vegetables (and some fruits), milk (including non-dairy milks), grains and tubers, mould cultures (for tempeh and koji), beans, nuts and seeds as well a meat fish and eggs. The book also includes chapters on commercialisation and non-food applications of fermentation (agriculture, waste management, disposal of human bodies(!), medicinal applications of fermentation and more.
The book is too interesting to do it full justice here but there is so much information on so many possible gluten free, vegan ferments that it is hard to know where to start. A whole new world has opened up. I think I will have to do quite a bit more reading to fully understand fermentation and decide what my first ferment will be.
*Following the affiliate links on this page will take you to a third party site where you can purchase the book.
My brother introduced me to this incredible and absorbing book at Christmas – I went out and bought it myself and am totally engrossed by it: