Attention food geeks, if you've always wanted to learn more about pickling and fermentation just listen up. The Nordic Food Lab has published a thrilling podcast on lactic acid fermentation, a chemical process that has played a part in many of the dishes served at Noma, currently the second best restaurant in the world.
The 13-minute podcast features Benedict Reade, the head of culinary research and development at the Nordic Food Lab. Reade's many experiments have included pickling cabbage at the bottom of the sea so he has a pretty good grip on the subject of lactic acid fermentation.
Those familiar with the the topic may know that lactic acid naturally forms in fermented foods and is the agent responsible for the tartness in pickled foods. One of its functions is to help preserve food by minimizing 'bad' bacteria.
The process is rather interesting and can be broken down into two types of lactic acid fermentation: homolacto and heterolacto fermentation. Reade talks about the chemical differences between the two and gets down to the nitty gritty while keeping a sense of humor. He describes the fermentation process as one in which bacteria are constantly at war ''creating weapons of mass descrontruction.''
Here's the direct link to the full podcast. We recommmend keeping a notepad nearby as things will get very scientific a few seconds into the podcast.