Fab Ferments™ makes handmade, raw, cultured foods, from organic and local, sustainable ingredients and offers them to the Greater Cincinnati area, and online. Their specialties include: a variety of kimchi and sauerkraut dishes, kombucha, and beet kvass. Included at no extra charge are healing vibrations from crystals, music, art, and love.

They’ll tell you that if your sauerkraut contains vinegar, it’s because it lacks culture.

Jennifer De Marco and Jordan Aversman co-founded Fab Ferments in 2008. They’re also dating. The story of how Fab Ferments came to be, and the story of how they met over food, are, well, pretty much the same thing.

Jennifer was finishing up her college degree in marketing and international business from the University of Cincinnati. She spent her senior year abroad, in Linz Austria.

In Austria, and throughout Europe, Jennifer cultivated a new-found relationship with food. Immersed in the culture, she and fellow students cooked whole meals together, from real ingredients, and spent hours around the table and in the kitchen, sipping wine, and reconnecting over food. There, food and drink were inseparable from other meaningful things in life, like family, friendship, prayer, and love. Sounds like a book title, doesn’t it?

Jennifer brought her new outlook back home to the United States.

I knew I just experienced something amazing.  I was very fortunate to live and study abroad and have the opportunity to travel extensively throughout Europe (and eat lots of real food).  However, I had a hard time adjusting back to the American way.  It was as if I was going through serious culture shock in the country I was born and raised in.

Thankfully, only weeks after moving back to Cincinnati, she met Jordan.

While Jordan was attending college, he had become interested in organic farming and natural living. He worked in a family owned health food store and spent time working on a biodynamic farm.

In the age of technological advances, I felt an urge to go back to my “roots” and resist becoming involved in the fast-paced computer dominated society.

Jordan believes that we have strayed too far from the old traditions that have kept humankind healthy and nourished.

I began to question the modern influences on human living. In an age of increasing illness and disease, I felt a need to educate others and promote the teachings of the Weston A. Price foundation.

The Weston A. Price Foundation works to raise awareness on the issue. The foundation provides evidence-based information about nutrition, including the proper preparation and consumption of whole, nutritionally dense foods.

The scientific studies that the foundation produces often put the Weston A. Price Foundation at odds with large, corporate farms and industrialized food manufacturers.

Jennifer and Jordan share some mutual friends, so shortly after Jennifer came home to Cincinnati, Jordan ended up in Jennifer’s kitchen. He watched as she boiled down stock from a pot of water, vegetables, and bones. Homemade stock is a common, nutritious staple used in many meals that consist of whole, unprocessed foods.

Jordan and Jennifer talked. He told her about the Weston A. Price foundation, and his shared philosophies on food.

Jennifer was ecstatic to hear that there was an organized group of people in the United States that felt the say way as her. She wasn’t as isolated as she had thought.

I couldn’t believe it. These people choose to eat liver pate, sauerkraut, raw butter, pastured meats, bone broths, fresh organic fruits and veggies. Seriously how do I join?

Jordan had learned to prepare fermented foods by following advice and experimenting with friends. He’d developed a real knack for it, and he’d been sharing his fermented foods with friends and family. Jordan soon shared his techniques with Jennifer, and they made a few batches of sauerkraut together.

Jennifer, with her business background, was convinced that there was a market for the nutritious, life giving, foods that they prepared together. Jordan had always dreamed of starting a food business, and Jennifer’s know-how helped pave the way.

Their combined passion led to the creation of Fab Ferments in 2008. By the beginning of 2009, they were selling their ferments to the public. Jordan is happy to have found the perfect job.

My dream is now my everyday reality.  It is fun and rewarding to become close to our customers and continue to provide them with healthy fermented foods.

Jennifer’s travels have inspired her to make fermented foods that originate from all over the world.

The sauerkraut produced by Jennifer and Jordan is different from most store varieties. In traditional, naturally made sauerkraut, no vinegar is used. Instead, Fab Ferments sauerkraut is naturally fermented over a period of weeks, without pasteurization, and without MSG and soy protein isolate. Naturally produced sauerkraut is naturally preserved, so it doesn’t require vinegar for preservation.

This is the kind of sauerkraut with real culture–the kind your grandmother would approve.

If you’re unsure of which variety of Fab Ferment kraut to try first, you might take everyone else’s word for it and try the “Spicy Dill”. Jennifer says that she is the most proud of their Spicy Dill sauerkraut, which is very popular. Buy some to spice up your next wine party, picnic, or family reunion. Fab Ferments also makes kimchi, which is a spicy Korean sauerkraut. Not to be left out, there are also Latin American, Japanese, and traditional German varieties.

Jennifer and Jordan also brew kombucha. Kombucha is a fermented drink, made from real fruit juices and tea. It is fermented with a special kind of fungus, known as a scoby. Fungus, you say? Just a reminder–the yeasts that are used in more widely known drinks like beer and wine are also a kind of fungus. Kombucha has a low enough alcohol content that it is generally considered to be non-alcoholic. Kombucha is great for digestion, and if you enjoy fermented drinks like beer and wine, you’ll love kombucha, and at the same time, you’ll be reaping it’s health benefits.

I was hard pressed to find a kombucha I really liked, until I tried the “Groovy Grape” kombucha from Fab Ferments. I purchased a bottle from Whole Foods in Rookwood Pavilion, chilled it in the fridge at home, and enjoyed every sip. If you’re going to buy your first bottle of kombucha, that’s the flavor I’d try. Even the kids, including the picky one, liked it.

Fab Ferments also produces a few varieties of beet kvass. Beet kvass is another fermented drink, which originated in the Ukraine. It contains beets, spices, water, and sea salt.

You might be buying foods from Fab Ferments just because they taste really great, or they might remind you of Grandma’s homemade meals. Whatever your reason, Jennifer still gets excited that she is making a difference in our lives, our health, and our planet, and helping us reconnect with our traditional food culture.

I am very blessed to be making a living out of a passion for fermenting food. It is very rewarding to get feedback from all the wonderful people who consume our products and notice an increase of health. I believe that the future of our country’s food production should be focused on local production and consumption. There is an increasing emphasis towards supporting the local food movement and we are honored to be a part of it. It is healthier and better for the economy. Please support us and other local producers in the real food revolution.

You can find fermented food goodness from Fab Ferments at many Greater Cincinnati area stores. Friend Fab Ferments on Facebook to be notified about which farmer’s markets they’ll be at. You can read more about Jennifer, Jordan, and all of their products at their Web site FabulousFerments.com.

I have to admit, I haven’t tried the beet kvass, so please leave some comments letting me know what you think. Also let me know which sauerkraut and kombucha flavor is your favorite. One more thing. If you happen to spot them at one of the markets, please send me a photo.

Now go eat something with culture.