Kimchi, hot sauce and krauts

Catch up with London's Eaten Alive to learn their take on ferments

On our recent trip to London to explore Borough Market, we stopped by the ‘Eaten Alive’ stall to try out kimchi, krauts, and fermented hot sauces made right in London.

Cheese, bread, wine, miso, chocolate, coffee, pickles, salami—so many of our favorite foods have fermentation to thank. Right now, the age-old process is more popular than ever, for everything from the “funky” flavour profiles it stokes to the effect of probiotic foods on the digestive system.

The company

The independent company was started a few years ago by chefs and fermentation enthusiasts Pat Bingley and Glyn Gordon, who together they take inspiration from traditional fermentation to create their raw, flavorpacked products – like the explosively flavorful golden, turmeric-based kimchi, pink sauerkraut, or smoked sriracha

As well as operating a stall at Borough Market, the award-winning products are sold to select restaurants like London’s Nanban (you might have heard of head chef Tim Anderson’s book Japaneasy), delis, grocers and supermarkets. To get a better glimpse at how they transform raw, market ingredients into complex-tasting, delicious fermented food, we went to visited them at their production site in Battersea, London, not far from the Market itself.

The fermentation

In the case of vegetable ferments like kimchi, sauerkraut, and pickles, the process is called lactofermentation. This means that healthy yeast and bacteria breaks down the sugar in food, creating lactic acid which then preserves the food. With tThe fermentation that occurs in something like beer, the yeast is converted into alcohol. The fermentation itself can happen with as little as salt (to ward off the wrong kind of bacteria), water—and time – but other ingredients and aromatics can be added to add depth to the final result.

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