Ferment - HOLLY DAVIS

Ferment Gut Health Book UK Gutsy
I think of cooking as an alchemic art form rather than an exact science
— Holly Davis

Ferment takes you on a journey of the art, traditions, pleasures, and magic of fermented foods through the expert eye of Holly Davis.  First we are introduced to the fashionable kombucha, labneh, milk kefir, with exceptional variations on their basic recipes; then guided through the more sophisticated ferments from all across the world.

Holly takes us on an adventure of her lifetime love affair with ferments through the chapters of her book - activate, capture, steep, infuse, leaven, incubate, cure.  She explains how we should follow our noses, how to prepare foods to support our gut, and on every page you can feel the hours she has spent looking out to sea, charming the very best choices of words onto the pages whilst always humbly giving full gratitude to the ingredients and microbes within.

Ferment beautifully reflects Holly's personality as well as the dedication she has put into its creation through decades of in-depth studies and recipe testing.

Turn the pages and you will find Cured maple, fennel and peppercorn sirloin, Umesu-pickled ginger, Saffron, maple and vanilla kefir milk fizz, Peach, pecan and ginger cake. Roast shio-koji chicken.  I would go on and on, but instead I just highly recommend you find out for yourself. 

 
 

How did you come up with the idea to create this book?

I was asked to write a book on the topic and this book has been brewing within me for decades!

How did you approach writing this book?

I collated the recipes I wanted to describe and I attempted to write the introduction before anything else. I wrote reams and reams of introductions, starting and restarting , sleeping with the ideas and wrestling for what ‘voice’ ferment wanted me to express. I was awoken by an idea many times some I captured others flew by.

How did you gather your research for this book?

I read, reread, asked a million questions fermented and tested many times, some recipes I tested 10 or more times. Fermentation is pretty inexact as am I so delivering recipes that will work for all was a challenge.

Where is your favourite place to write?

I wrote a good deal of ferment through winter, in bed, I can see the sunrise and the ocean from there and under the duvet with a cup of tea at hand this is a very happy place. Otherwise at my dining table facing out to the garden and the ocean, lots of time gazing out and willing inspiration to drive my pen or fingers.

What do you think makes your book stand out from other gut health books?

I don’t relate to it as a gut health book and perhaps that is a difference? I see it as a book to answer the question where do ferments fit in a wholefood way of life. I think it stands out due to its design and beautiful images, I have always held the desire to ‘seduce people to better ways of eating’ rather than banging them over the head with shoulds and musts.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone setting out to write a book like yours, what would it be?

Write what you will, be a stand for what is important to you. Make sure to use your voice in the process, it will after all bear your name so be straight and clear about your vision. Trust in the editing process, give that your all and marvel at what can be created. 

Flora Nichol