Hamptons foodies take note! The newest craze in local, farm-to-table cooking may be upon us.
After three long years of research, planning and design, Springs native Nicholas Stevens has finally created a prototype of his porcelain “Fermentium” food fermenter, and now he’s seeking $14,000 on Kickstarter to bring his product to the hungry masses.
“I love making food from scratch,” Stevens says, “In doing so, I fell in love with lacto-fermentation.” Though fermentation is a basic process—resulting in a long list of foods, such as pickles, sauerkraut, kimchi, beets and hundreds of other delights—the setup can be difficult or expensive. “To make my life easier and hopefully yours, I’ve developed this kit called the Fermentium,” Stevens explains.
With a beautiful square-shaped design, created by Stevens and Justin Crooker, the Fermentium crock calls to mind white glazed pottery by Jonathan Adler and 1960s mod, but every aspect of it is also functional. The simple yet ingenious device is small enough to fit in any kitchen, and it’s shape can be easily tucked away in a corner or cabinet as home fermenters wait for their pickles and kraut to reach that perfect texture and taste.
Stevens says the device, comprising a ceramic vessel with a square lid and two weights for holding food in place, meets all FDA food safety standards and costs about half as much, and is twice as durable, as similar products made of stoneware or bisque. The Fermentium is also a clear winner in the design department. It can double as an attractive vase, table centerpiece or cookie jar—and it’s built to last, as any good heirloom should be.
“Not only do we hope you’ll pass down recipes to your children and grandchildren, we also hope the Fermentium will be treasured by your family for decades to come,” Stevens adds, pointing out that fermented foods can please any family’s diverse range of picky palates.
Creative fermenters, or picklers, can experiment with all sorts of vegetables, spices and flavors, resulting in tangy, sweet, sour, salty and/or spicy, depending upon one’s taste. Stevens says fermented food is also nutritious and detoxifying, making digestion easier, supporting the immune system, weight loss and the lowering of cholesterol. And it doesn’t even need to be plugged in!
Open since October 9, the Fermentium Kickstarter campaign has already earned $3,871—more than 25 percent of its $14,000 goal—from 56 backers. Stevens has 26 more days until the campaign closes on Wednesday, November 12 at 11 p.m.
Pledges start at just $1 for those interested in helping the cause and receiving a Fermentium manual with instructions and a few basic recipes. The cost goes up from there, but at the most popular $62 level, backers will receive a Fermentium (with weights, lid and manual) delivered anywhere in the country. New Yorkers get off a bit cheaper—$48 will get the Fermentium delivered anywhere within the city (Stevens now lives in Brooklyn). Check out the Kickstarter page for details about additional pledge packages, including a $1,000 level, which will earn a “fermentation party” hosted by Anthony Limuaco, publisher of the Kimcheelicious cookbook.
Would-be picklers interested in Nicholas Stevens’ Fermentium fermentation crock can also visit fermentium.com for more details and direct order info.
To see the Fermentium in action and hear Stevens explain it, watch his Kickstarter video below.