I'm reading Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon Morrell, and it didn't take long for her writing on lacto-fermentation to catch my eye. So this weekend at the Farmers Market, I picked up a gallon of raw milk and said let the fun begin.

First up, I tried raw milk. I did a comparison between the raw milk and whole milk I bought from a local dairy that is pasteurized but not homogenized. I poured one equally sized glass of each. There were no differences in appearance. I then smelt each milk. The pasteurized milk smelled the way milk has always smelled. To me, the raw milk had no real detectable scent. I then tasted each milk, rinsing my mouth with water in between tastings. Again, the pasteurized milk tasted like milk has always tasted. The raw milk tasted different and has a very silky texture. The texture reminds me of the last spoonful of melted ice cream at the bottom of the bowl.

Next, I needed whey for my lacto fermentation. I poured two quarts of raw milk into an airtight glass container and left it sitting out for a day and a half. Now, I am not squeamish, but this was tough. It kind of went against everything I thought I knew about how to handle dairy (i.e. keep it cold). After sitting out, the milk separated and I poured it into a mesh strainer lined with a kitchen towel. After the towel stopped dripping, I tied it around a skewer and let it sit a few hours to completely drip out. This separated the solids from the liquid, which left me with cream cheese and whey.

My first fermentation experiment is orangina. A fermented drink that includes:
- Juice of 12 oranges
- Two teaspoons salt
- 1/2 Teaspoon orange extract
- 1 1/4 quarts water
- 1/4 cup of whey
You combine all the ingredients in a glass container, stir well, close the lid, and leave sitting out for two more days.

After two days, you put it in the fridge and after a week you should have a banana flavored fermented beverage.

I'll let you know how it turns out. Later this week, I'll be making sauerkraut. Does anyone else have experience with fermented foods and drinks?
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