Many fermented foods are incredibly rich in probiotics; it is common in Kathmandu to get a side of “pickle,” which is a selection of mixed fermented vegetables, from cabbage (saurkraut) to radishes and carrots. We found an incredibly delicious Japanese restaurant in the Boudhanath area of Kathmandu where we’ve been enjoying miso soup often. Miso is very rich in probiotics, but you have to take care not to actually boil the broth once the living miso paste is introduced to the pot. Next on my fermented food list to try at this restaurant is natto.
In India, there are many flour-based goods that are fermented, like the dosa and idli; while some of the probiotics might be compromised with the heating of these delicious treats, every little bit counts!
It’s not that there’s a lack of probiotic rich food in America—readily available in natural grocery stores are yogurt, keifer, miso, kombucha, saurkraut, kimchi, and more. Unfortunately, you’d be hardpressed to find those things on an average American menu, at home or in a restaurant.
Fermented foods are part of every day cuisine all over the world. “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” is put into practice here in a very real way. I’m happy to report that I can safely maintain some of my probiotic supplement stockpile for regular maintenance and, instead, rely on daily doses of cultured food to replenish my healthy bacteria. Is there room in your diet for some fermented goodness, too?
Post and Photo by Lauren