Culture of Cultures

Alchemy may be beyond the reach of us mortals, but this weekend’s Fermentation Festival & Market will celebrate the next best thing: the process by which microbes transform mundane raw ingredients into delicious foods and beverages — everything from beer, cheese and pickles to kombucha, kefir and kimchi.

Fermentation has many benefits, including preservation, better nutrition and, of course, alcohol, but most exciting, according to festival organizer Mike Burns, is what you can taste: “Fermentation is a process that produces really unique, interesting flavors that can’t be obtained in any other way,” he says. Find these flavors at the booths of the many local purveyors that will be on hand with samples of their wares; participants include TRVE Brewing, Roundhouse Spirits, MMLocal Foods, Ling Elixirs and many more.

Once you’ve filled your plate and your glass, you can attend seminars on making your own cheese, wine, kefir or kombucha; these and other fermented delights are easy to make at home, and Burns hopes to inspire you to get started. Join the culture of cultures today and tomorrow from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Highlands Masonic Center, 3550 Federal Boulevard. Tickets, $17 to $55, and additional information can be found at
Sat., Aug. 24, 3:30-7:30 p.m.; Sun., Aug. 25, 3:30-7:30 p.m., 2013