Q: How much salt is in there?
A: We salt our vegetable ferments at 1.7% salt by weight of vegetable. That ends up being about
1.6 teaspoons per 16 ounce jar. Generally speaking, that’s less than some other brands you might find on store shelves.
Q: How long do your vegetable ferments last?
A: We feel our krauts and kimchi taste best if consumed within six months of being packaged and each label is marked accordingly. Raw, fermented vegetables can last much longer, and don’t really “go bad,” but their flavor, crunchiness, acidity, etc. will continue to change over time.
Q: Is there dairy in your products?
A: No. Lacto-fermentation sounds like it has to do with milk, but it actually refers to the naturally occurring lactobacilli bacteria on the vegetables that convert starches into lactic acid, which is how they are preserved in our products.
Q: Is there vinegar in your products?
A: No. As described above, the vegetables are naturally self-preserving themselves with lactic acid as part of the fermentation process. The taste is sour and acidic as a result.
Q: Are your products vegan?
A: Our kimchi contains fish sauce made with anchovies and salt. We are currently experimenting with vegan-friendly alternatives and do sometimes sell a fish sauce-free version direct to customers at farmers markets. Our sauerkraut, Crimson Kraut and Gochu Curry Kraut are all vegan, as is our tempeh.
Q: My jar of kraut had a bulging lid, was fizzy and leaked. Why?
A: Sorry about that. Being a raw, live food, our vegetable ferments never really stop fermenting. Some batches can be more active than others and if left outside the fridge can start fizzing, bubbling and even bulging the lid with building pressure. This may be a bit messy, but is otherwise a natural part of the process and nothing to worry about. Crack open the lid over the sink to relieve the pressure (eat some to make room in the jar!) and keep the jar in the fridge, which will slow down the fermentation process.
Q: Your label says I should keep my jar in the refrigerator. How long can it be out before it goes bad?
A: Fermentation is a traditional way to preserve vegetables that predates refrigeration. Keeping our ferments cool in the fridge is less about food safety and more about the best way to prolong the best flavor and crunch. As mentioned above, warmer temperatures can also create fizzy jars and bulging lids. Our products are kept cold throughout the supply chain and we recommend maintaining that once you get them home. That said, travel time from the market or a few hours out on the counter isn’t a problem.
Q: Do you take jars back to reuse?
A: Yes. We will gratefully take your jar back at a local farmers market if it’s clean and has the label removed.