Bring a homemade plant-based ferment and share it with the club. Together we will talk, eat, drink, discover, experiment and share the incredible world of fermentation.
For this first edition, we will count with the presence of our friend Silvana Lastra Melendro, who will present us her project BICHO and her special relationship with her kombucha. We can’t wait to find out more.
We’re delighted to have developed a design and fabrication system that allows us to build our products ourselves, at our own pace and on our own terms. This allows us to save resources, and remain conscious of the ones we use. Each fermenter is manufactured with care and love by us in our workshop in Barcelona.
Thank you all for your support and your orders, it’s a real pleasure to see the fermenter community growing!
We’ve been exploring an exciting new experiment: Vegan charcuterie with KOJI.
This fermentation process is based on the use of koji (aspergillus oryzae), this mushroom that forms the basis of miso and soy sauce, among other things. Thanks to koji, we’ve been able to give vegetables such as carrots and beetroot a complex, umami flavour. Koji breaks down carbohydrates, and this enzymatic degradation transforms the flavour, taste and aroma in less than 48 hours of incubation at 30C in the fermenter. (same than for tempeh)
Our experience shows: we “kojified” our vegetables, dehydrated them, then macerated them with olive oil. Sprinkle this mixture over your toast, and it will enhance the whole with an explosion of flavour!
First of all, we’d like to wish you a very happy new year, filled with experimentation, exploration and wonderful discoveries. May your curiosity and your heart be listened to, and may this year bring the desired changes or the expected stability.
In 2023, we’ve had some wonderful experiences, and we’re taking this opportunity to summarise them. Contemplating our past actions helps to set the direction for the future.
We’ve been lucky enough to share the practice of fermentation and the discovery of mycelium with many of you. Whether during a series of workshops held in our sunny studio in Barcelona, or at external events where we were invited.
A highlight of the year was our participation in the magnificent Foodculture Days art and food biennale in Switzerland, where we experimented with growing mycelium using the body heat of participants/visitors. The feedback was incredibly good and interesting, and the experience kept us energised for a long time.
Another key moment was when we participated in the Fixing The Future event, where we demonstrated our fermenter and explained its use and our vision to the public who had come to discover emerging solutions to the climate crisis.
A third project in the spotlight, of which we are very proud, has been a series of of workshops with MACBA (Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona), Fablab Barcelona (a research and education centre) and AFAB (a digital fabrication workshop run by the city and dedicated to citizens), where participants in the Cuina MACBA made their own fermenter lab in the fabrication workshop from files downloaded from our site, and then used the fermenter to make a delicious batch of tempeh in the MACBA kitchen. it was great to see the participants building and using their fermenter from scratch.
We had a great time sharing our experience, our culinary delights and our vision with all of you. Thank you for being part of it! And if you didn’t get a chance to join us, drop us a line to organise a future workshop/experience together. We’re preparing our 2024 calendar.
It was also during this wonderful year of 2023 that our fermenter left our workshop to enter your kitchens and labs! What a pleasure to see you fermenting your own plant proteins at home, exploring a new culinary universe, getting closer to natural processes and loving it! Our Fermenter, Fermenter Lab and DIY kits for making your own fermenter are out in the wild, in Spain, Belgium, France, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland, USA, Brazil, Canada and more. Thank you for trusting us and bringing the wonderful practice of fermentation, sustainability and resilience into your lives.
We experimented with mycelium. To produce plant proteins to reduce our dependence on the animal industry and drastically cut our CO2 emissions, thanks to tempeh. To discover new flavours, to observe the transformation of common foods into an incredible source of umami, thanks to koji. To obtain a substitute for plastic, to replace our petroleum-based products made from polymers that are almost impossible to recycle with compostable objects that can return to the Earth and benefit it.
In 2024, we want to create more open-source tools so that together we can continue to explore the world of fungi, bacteria and micro-organisms of all kinds. To feed ourselves, but also to get closer to them, to be inspired by them, and to share their beauty. We strongly believe that a change in society can come from a new way of seeing the world, from interspecies collaboration and mutual respect. Our work continues to move in this direction.
Thank you for following and supporting us.
We wish you all the best for this new year!
The Domingo fermenter is a key tool in the discovery and realisation of a multitude of cross-species collaborations.
What we’re doing with the fermenter so far:
tempeh: a superfood that combines plants and fungi, it’s the best alternative to meat we’ve found. It can be made with almost any legume.
koji: a fermented rice that is the basis of all the Japanese ferments (miso, shoyu, amazake, sake, etc.). It instantly creates a magnificient umami flavour. It’s simply delicious, try it and you’ll love it.
composite material: when mycelium grows on wood chips or straw, it becomes very resistant; when it develops in moulds, it takes on the shape you want it to have. The myco material is a fantastic substitute for plastic.
Our goal of creating an open source product and growing a community of users to spread the power of fermentation is becoming more tangible every day. There have been a number of milestones along the way, the most recent of which was this workshop where we teached an existing community how to make their own future fermenter using digital manufacturing techniques, and then to learn how to use it by making tempeh together, so that the group could then integrate it into their practices and explore other uses.
For this workshop, we teamed up with the Ateneu de Fabricació de Grácia (AFABG) and La Cuina del Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA). Together we built our open-source project from our website, using the machines available at AFABG. We soldered and assembled the electronics, machined the wooden cabinet using the CNC milling machine and 3D printed the parts needed to put it all together, all without any prior knowledge, but with guidance from us and the AFABG team. Because the Cuina collective built the machine themselves, they could understand it completely and in the future, they will be able to repair it, upgrade it and give it a longer life cycle.
In the second part of the workshop, we demonstrated the use of the fermenter by making tempeh together, which allowed us to introduce the fermentation process and the magic that the fermenter can bring to any culinary practice. Together we discussed why and how to ferment at home, and its impact on our planet, our health and our communities.
We are delighted to have been able to demonstrate the holistic vision of the project during this workshop which touches on open source, digital manufacturing, circularity, fermentation, the climate and the food crisis. A Huge thanks FoodSHIFT 2030 and Fab Lab Barcelona that have supported us in the realisation of it.
Souvenir of last month when we were invited to Brussels, our beloved city, to take part in two events on the future of our food system as a response to the climate crisis we are experiencing.
On the one hand, we had the chance to express our views on how can we better empower citizens to participate in their food system and be active part of the tranformation. Maud was invited to the panel discussion about citizen-driven food system transformation for the European FoodSHIFT Policy Conference to talk about our vision and experience as innovators in this sector and the different challenges we have faced over the last 2.5 years as selected innovators in this European project.
While the day before, we shared our project and our knowledge of tempeh fermentation at Fermenthings - the Belgian hub for fermentation knowledge - in their fermentation lab, where they invite to a space of innovation and creativity to explore, experiment and learn not only about ferments, but also about a culture of sustainability and innovation in circular fermentation. We also left one of our fermenters and some tempeh necklaces over there.
What could be more delightful than stars anointing themselves in this way?
The mycelium, the root network of fungi, is a dense and interconnected structure. This mycelial network has the ability to grow in all directions, seeking nutrients and connecting everything that can be connected. It is the network that allows trees to communicate, that allows the forest to exchange and grow.
But the great power of the mycelium is above all decomposition. It is the mycelium that digests and decomposes all organic matter, breaking it down into small elements that can then be reused by other beings.
Without mycelium there would be no life, resources would be unique and scarce, and the earth would be covered with dead matter. If the soil is fertile and nutrients are available again and again, it is thanks to the mycelium.
The photos show one of our prototypes of aerial mycelium, which grows with little substrate but nevertheless fills its volume thanks to its dense structure.
Introducing the fermenter at the Fixing The Future event at Barcelona’s Design Museum, a three days event of panel discussions, debates, workshops and performances that brought together 25 future-shaping projects from across the world. It was very rewarding for us to be in this environment where we’re all going in the same direction.
Collaborating with microorganisms workshop for iFest
Last Wednesday we held a workshop on ‘Collaborating with Microorganisms’ in partnership with Fab Lab Barcelona as part of the iFest, a great challenge competition of Catalonia that trains young people to innovation and entrepreneurship.
We introduced the six winning teams to fermentation processes, why and how to reintroduce these techniques as a sustainable, nutritious and affordable solution to fixing our food system and tackling the climate crisis.
We then got our hands wet by making a kraut-chi, a hybrid of sauerkraut and kimchi, the German and Korean words for fermented vegetables. We took care of unseen nature by passing on our good energy to this magical process. At the end of the workshop, participants went home with a small jar of their own kraut-chi.
It was a dynamic, fun and inspiring opportunity for us to pass on our vision and knowledge to a group of attentive and creative students who are the next generation of innovators.