LA Fermentation Festival
This weekend, after stuffing myself at the LA Street Food Fest on Saturday, I attended the inaugural Los Angeles Fermentation Festival in Venice on Sunday! The festival originated in Santa Barbara, but expanded to LA this year. It took place at the Venice Arts Plaza, a location that was surprisingly difficult to “Google” because it’s actually made up of three organizations working out of the same address: Beyond Baroque, Kiss the Ground, and SPARC. Profits from this event went to these organizations.
When I arrived and saw the relatively small layout and limited samplings of food and drink I was initially disappointed, but that feeling was short lived. While nearly all exhibitors had samples on hand, this was not an eating-centric festival. Instead, this was a space for fermentation enthusiasts to share their experiences on pickling, brewing, etc.
With my expectations properly adjusted, my family and I had a darn good time talking to exhibitors, participating in the hands-on activities and demonstrations, and, yes, sampling some delicious kombucha (by Health-Ade), kombucha (by The Bu Kombucha), and did I mention kombucha (by Fermentation Farm)? (They were all really good, and really quite different from each other.)
Of the foods I sampled, the three that stood out to me the most were some vegan pâtés made from sprouted almonds from Bara’s Fresh, the assortment of kimchi from Wildbrine, and this house-made black garlic—some voodoo about cooking garlic slowly in a rice cooker until it turns dark and rich—from Sama Sama Kitchen.
Since the samples were not enough to make a meal, several vendors were on-hand, some selling sandwiches and salads (Gjusta Bakery), and others selling grilled sausages (Wine Country Sausage, who were also selling their house-made charcuterie).
Hands-on activities at the festival included a SCOBY petting zoo from Kombucha Kamp, which was fun for the kids, DIY pickling stations, and workshops on how to make ferment fruit, preserve lemons, and make kimchi! The whole family got in on the fun!
While I am an avid consumer of fermented goods, I’m likely not the target audience for the LA Fermentation Festival, but I’d consider returning if they bring it back agan to LA. Unfortunately, I missed out on the alcoholic “Farm-to-Bar” area, more of a reason to return next year!
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LA Fermentation Festival
681 N. Venice Blvd.
Venice, CA 90291