Lacto-Fermented Blueberries

Ever since I began making my own sauerkraut last year, I’ve been on a lacto-fermenting kick. I wanted to ferment everything in sight, and the Noma Guide to Fermentation has been good about providing inspiration for things to ferment, as well as narratives around their trials and errors. Lacto-fermented blueberries is one of the more popular Noma recipes, which the New Yorker also covered.

How do these lacto-fermented blueberries taste? The plump and juicy acidity that characterizes fresh blueberries evolve into a more mellow tang that’s rounded out with savory notes, and has a slightly jammy consistency that works really well as a yogurt topping. It evokes the flavor of umeboshi, or Japanese preserved plums. I also really liked the addition of roasted flax seeds with the fermented blueberries – the toasty, nutty, and crunch texture made this feel even more like a complete meal.

Lacto-fermentation is exceedingly straightforward, and requires minimum time or money investment – I highly recommend you give it a go.

LACTO-Fermented Blueberries

Ingredients
  • Some amount of blueberries
  • 2% of its weight in salt
Equipment
  • Zip lock bag and a glass jar OR
  • A vacuum sealer and a vacuum sealing bag
Instructions
  1. Rinse blueberries in tap water; just enough to rinse off any visible debris or dirt. You don’t want it to be completely sterile; the bacteria that’s naturally occurring on the skin of the fruit is what’s driving the fermentation process.
  2. Mix blueberries and salt in a bowl.
  3. Using a spatula, scrape blueberries and salt into the glass jar OR the vacuum sealing bag.
    1. If using a glass jar: Fill zip lock bag with water, and place it in the jar, covering the blueberries. Minimize the air exposure the blueberries will have by gently massaging the water-filled zip lock bag into the nooks and crannies the blueberries have created.
    2. If using a vacuum sealer: Ensure blueberries are in a a single layer in the bag. Vacuum seal it.
  4. Let the blueberries hang out in a dark corner for a bit, anywhere from 3 days (if it’s a hot summer’s day) to a week. I let mine hang out for four days at around 20 degrees Celsius and I think it could’ve gone two more days for extra funk.

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