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Fermentation FAQ

We got your answers right here

What is fermentation?

Fermentation is an ancient method of food preservation that helps to extend the life of perishable foods like milk, fruit, vegetables, meat and also make certain foods edible and delicious, think olives, grains into bread and milk into cheese. The range of fermented foods across the globe is ridiculous, with some estimates reckoning upwards of 5000 different ferments! At the heart of every distinct type is the microcosm of bacteria, yeast, moulds and fungi that turn raw food materials into vastly different textures and tastes.

Put simply fermentation is the action of microbes (bacteria, yeasts, fungi etc) breaking down sugars in food, creating by-products like acids, alcohol and some vitamins.

Lots of foods are made using fermentation (e.g. beer, bread and wine) but because of other parts of their processing they don’t contain any live microbes in them when we eat them. This is where our fermented foods differ. We utilise microorganisms that are already present on the produce to craft our products. These little buggers live on much of the foods we eat daily, like fruit and veg. We just offer them a little nudge to grow to transform something ordinary into something new and exciting!

My ferment is bubbling or leaking...help!?

First things first, DON'T WORRY! Bubbling and even a bit of juice leaking out the jar is perfectly normal and doesn't mean there's anything wrong with your product. What it does mean is that your jar has got a bit active and started to ferment again; this won't do anything to make it unsafe but it might change the tastes, textures and colours slightly. This brings us to the next FAQ...

How should I store my lovely ferments?

In the fridge please! Ideally between 1 and 5°C for best quality. This temperature slows fermentation right down so that the high quality of the product when we jar it is maintained! Our ferments are safe to eat outside of the fridge (we've had them tested in a lab - look at us, fancy! - for up to 5 days out the fridge and they've been totally safe to eat. BUT keeping them in the fridge will make sure they'll stay as intended - utterly delicious.

Where can I buy your beautiful products?

You’ll find us out and about at markets in the Aberdeenshire area, so come say hi! We are working on getting our products in restaurants, cafés and retail outlets around Aberdeen. Here are the current lists of our stockists! If are a business looking to stock our awesome products click HERE. Also if you want to stalk our pretty faces and stay up to date follow us on social media! We try to be as active as possible, while still maintaining some sort of life of course.

Where do you make Crafty Pickle ferments?

We produce our products in the bright and sunny heart of Aberdeen, Scotland at CFINE HQ. One day we'd love to be able to open our doors and share the weird and wonderful process we take to produce our ferments. So watch this space!

What's so special about Crafty Pickle ferments?

We produce our products with a purpose. We continually strive to use more and more surplus fruit and veg to craft our delicious ferments in order to make an impact. We also make our products using what’s referred to as ‘wild fermentation.’ This means we allow the naturally occurring microorganisms present on the raw produce to do the magic for us. We believe this produces a superior product with more complexity, depth of flavour and in the way nature intended.

Why are you called The Crafty Pickle Co. but don’t sell any bloody pickles!?

Ugh, we knew this would be something you'd call us out on...

Coming up with a name is challenging. It’s the same as coming up with a name for a child. It has to sound good, roll off the tongue a bit and not rhyme with any obscene word that can be used against them. We must’ve discussed dozens of potential names prior to settling on our baby, The Crafty Pickle Co.  According to the Cambridge dictionary the term ‘pickle’ means: vegetables or fruit that have been preserved in vinegar or salty solution. So even though we don’t sell pickles, (yet) the name still describes the process in which we preserve our vegetables (in your face!).

Are fermented foods probiotics or good for our gut health?

Ok, this is a bit of a complicated one. The short answer is… maybe? There is a lot of anecdotal information out there where individuals claim that fermented foods have healed their bodies in some way. But strong scientific studies are seriously lacking in this area. Some companies may claim that their product contains ‘probiotics’ or are ‘gut healthy;’ but the fact of the matter is most of these products have not undergone a scientific study that confirms a ‘cause and effect’ relationship. One thing we do know is that fermented foods can be a healthy addition to an already varied diet. And yes, they MAY be healthy for our guts, but they still can’t be called ‘probiotics' just yet. Read more HERE.

What’s with the logo?

The idea for our logo came about after endless cups of coffee and chats about how we wanted The Crafty Pickle Co. to be different. Different in the sense of our mission, our marketing and the transparency of our products. Some might say the image is a bit shocking and unappetizing. But so is the endless amount of food that goes to waste each day and the amount of individuals that go to bed hungry each night. We strive to use unloved, mistreated produce to craft our delicious fermented products, while giving a percentage of our profits back to a cause we believe everyone should care about. As individuals of science, we will never make unsubstantiated health claims in regards to our products. So why are still sitting there and reading this? Go out there and try one of our products!