Friday, 7 October 2016

Fermentation Fun at Nama

The raw food restaurant called Nama in Notting Hill runs courses in the evening for those curious enough to want to know how to make some of their delicious food. My friends Charlotte, Gemma and myself fancied finding out the secrets behind food fermentation, nut cheeses and pickling.

Although I am not vegan or vegetarian I am really interested in alternative and healthy food ideas to supplement my meat eating ways! I have eaten at Nama on two previous occasions and the food is absolutely gorgeous, here are some photos from October 2015.

Background: raw Italian corgetti
Foreground: raw Mexican bowl with raw nachos

Raw chocolate cheesecake

Raw fermented blueberry cheesecake
We were given an introduction to Nama and their food philosophy by one of the founding owners and chef Irene Arango. We moved onto learning about Komucha which is a fermented drink made from tea and a fermentation agent known as a scoby. We all got to take a piece of scoby home to brew our own Kombucha.
It is a sparkling drink which needs a base of caffeinated tea, sugar and a piece of scoby to ferment. After a few days you strain the liquid, remove the scoby and add flavourings like lemon, raisins, berries or ginger. This is then left for a few days in the fridge to ferment further - this is when it gets fizzy! The Kombucha we tasted was lovely. I just need to get my own vat brewing too.

Next we went into the kitchen to learn how to make nut cheeses, nut yoghurt and nut sour cream. The three variants all stem from a 'base' of blended nuts; either cashew or macadamia after which differing amount of lemon, salt, filtered water and a probiotic tablet (which creates the fermentation process) are added to get different consistencies.


We each had a bowl of the macadamia cheese base to flavour using a number of fresh ingredients like chives, parsley, coriander or dried flavouring such as garlic powder, onion powder, nutritional yeast, pepper and salt. It was fun blending the flavours together. I opted for a classic black pepper and lemon flavour.


We moved onto pickling and making sauerkraut which was great fun. We also learnt how quick and easy it is to whip up the mixture for raw walnut crackers - but it takes forever in the dehydrator to dry out the crackers ready for eating.


Here is my friend Charlotte finely slicing red cabbage using a mandelin!


Finally we got to sit down and eat a beautiful salad, scoff lots of walnut crackers with our hand-blended raw nut cheese and finally finish the meal off with a little bowl of raw nut yoghurt.



I would definitely attend another course at Nama but some of the classes seem a little expensive! I am looking forward to making some of the lovely food I got a chance to experiment with.

2 comments:

  1. Sounds like an interesting evening, I was curious how nut cheeses are made. Is it something you think you could do quite easily at home?

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    1. Hi Alex, yes you can make nut cheese at home but you need a good blender to get the smooth consistency and some probiotic tablets to activate the ingredients.

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