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Hey pesto - your pesto tips and tricks wanted

Have you ever tried fermenting garlic? It becomes sweeter and you can eat it whole, which I could never do with raw garlic. Dead easy, and adds probiotics.

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No I haven’t tried that . How is it done ?

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Here’s what I did. Worst part was peeling the garlic. Next time I will use frozen garlic, as the skins slip off easily.
I freeze my garlic around March/April or it shoots. Only fresh garlic at this time of year comes from China, so I buy up big on locally grown around February/March.

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julwood: Pine nuts are ridiculously expensive, and I rarely see them for sale.

You’ll find reasonably priced pine nuts at Aldi. Have you tried looking there?

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Does this process prevent botulinum growing? Generally one needs low pH or high temperature sterilization if storing vegetable material wet in anaerobic conditions. The linked article doesn’t address the issue.

Is it lacto-fermentation? My understanding is that this uses lactobacillus to produce lactic acid from sugars which is useful for flavour and to lower pH. Does anybody know if that is so in this case? Any food scientists out there?

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An article I posted on this forum a year ago.

It appears to be a similar process to making kimchi with similar probiotic properties.

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If you click on the link you will see it is headed ‘Lacto fermented garlic’.

I do a fair bit of fermenting, and nothing has gone wrong yet. It seems one important detail to get right is the ratio of salt to water so just follow the recipe. I’m doing ginger right now.

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I saw that but no details are given. Do you know under what conditions that kind of fermentation takes place and whether your garlic is in the safe pH range to inhibit botulism?

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Thanks for the tip, I’ll have to try it next season with fresh garlic. I usually smash and peel, but I wanted them whole for fermenting.

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People have been fermenting for hundreds of years to preserve food There are a million articles on fermented food on the net which explain it and go into details. It’s perfectly safe if you follow instructions… You can ferment under any conditions, though it is a lot faster in warm weather. It takes a bit longer at this time of year.

As for my garlic, I’ve eaten it all!

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I am aware that lactic acid fermentation is a well known method of food preservation that has been used for a long time. I was questioning if the anybody knowledgeable on the subject could say if the particular recipe given in the article linked was appropriate for keeping garlic safe.

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So I need a degree to answer your question? Someone who has been fermenting for a while is not knowledgeable? I ate all the garlic (plus all the other foods I have fermented) made with this particular recipe and I’m fine! Passed it on to friends and so are they…

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One doesn’t need a degree.

Clostridium botulinum is present in soils and in aerobic environments (oxygen present), like in most surface soils, it isn’t a problem. As garlic grows in soils, there is a very high probability that fresh garlic will contain clostridium botulinum spores. When the garlic is fermented (anaerobic conditions), it can cause these bacteria to grow causing toxins to develop and the poisoning of the product.

Commercially clostridium botulinum is not a problem if foods are heated prior to fermentation or the fermination process at all times occurs at a pH less than 4.6. Risks exist where the garlic is not sterilised prior to fermentation. It is unlikely using the recipe that pH less than 4.6 will be achieved through the whole of the fermentation process as initially the pH will be higher then this until such time acid is produced through fermentation.

@syncretic is correct that risks exist with this particular recipe that clostridium botulinum could flourish until such time the pH is less than 4.6. With clostridium botulinum, any toxins produced before the pH drops will remain in the fermented garlic when consumed.

A way to prevent the risks associated with clostridium botulinum is to heat the garlic above 85°C for at least 5 minutes.) before fermenting.

The WA government has useful information about botulism …

https://healthywa.wa.gov.au/Articles/A_E/Botulism

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Homemade is the ONLY pesto to eat, Brendan.

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Yes, I’ve made that too. Delicious.

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No, I don’t want to make this personal at all, you happened to raise the question but I was asking for replies from anybody who had more specific information whether the recipe given was safe.

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My favourite is Sacla tomato pesto which I use in a chicken recipe.

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Have you made Pesto from Carrot tops?

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It’s too expensive and home made tastes better.

Use almonds