Sauerkraut is salty, but I’d never thought about making sauerkraut salt until I met Jocelyn and Ahren Boulanger, the owners of Boulanger Fermentations, a new local food company I discovered through the SFC Farmers’ Market in Sunset Valley.
Jocelyn Boulanger, with the couple’s baby on her hip, was selling lacto-fermentated sauerkraut kimchi (and sipping brines) at the market last weekend, but she also had two products I’d never seen before: dehydrated kimchi and sauerkraut “jerky” and a salt mixture made with powdered beet sauerkraut.
Both foods play off the saltiness of the fermented vegetables while playing up the healthfulness of the probiotics inside them. Boulanger explained that they use a low-temperature dehydrator to make the dried products, which preserves the good-for-you bacteria that draw many people to fermented foods in the first place.
Here’s the thing: I don’t have a great need for vegan “jerky” myself, but the thinly shredded, dried kimchi and sauerkraut satisfied the same taste buds in my mouth that love beef jerky. The sauerkraut salt — a mixture of beet sauerkraut and regular salt — has been a surprising addition to potatoes, eggs and pasta, but most of all, I want to see what else this couple decides to create.
In the 10 minutes we were talking, they mentioned all kinds of interesting ideas for foods you could make with low-temperature dehydrated ferments. With young businesses like this, the owners can get creative and nimble with the kinds of products they sell, and with this couple, it seems like they are trying out all kinds of new ideas in a space they feel passionately about.
This enthusiasm and ideation phase one of my favorite things about farmers markets, so swing by the Sunset Valley market and see them if you want to nerd about out microbes, but you can also buy some of their products at Ingredients on Manor Road in East Austin or through Ungrocery.com.
What new products have you seen at local farmers markets lately? We’d love to hear about your favorite new (or old) vendors and why you seek them out.