Eighth Annual Portland Fermentation Festival — TICKETS ON SALE!

September 29th, 2017

2017’s Headless Horseman festival poster is by the incredible Mr. Tim Root — as always. The poster is downloadable over at our festival website if you want to have it and/or share it.

The Portland Fermentation Festival aka Stinkfest is less than a month away! I’m pasting the press release that I just sent out here below. Please have a gander and save the date! Want to participate as an exhibitor or do a demo this year?! Info. on how to do so below.


Eighth Annual Portland Fermentation Festival
Thursday, October 26th 6-9:30pm
Ecotrust’s Billy Frank Jr. Conference Center
Rooftop food and drink sales and music
721 NW 9th Ave. Portland, OR
All ages, open to the public, $10 advance, $12 cash at door
Children 12 and younger attend for free
Tickets on sale!

We are now less than a month away from the EIGHTH annual Portland Fermentation Festival! Please join us on the evening of Thursday, October 26th at Ecotrust for Portland’s annual, open-to-the-public, all-ages celebration of fermented food and drink lovingly referred to as Stinkfest. Bring kimchi, try kimchi. Bring miso, try miso. Come out for Portland’s fermented food and drink skill sharing, recipe sharing and tasting event of the year. Taste and share live, fermented food and drinks made by professionals and home fermentation enthusiasts at the annual event that brought out more than 400 attendees in 2016.

Talk to fellow fermenters, exchange cultures and recipes, get advice from local food fermentation enthusiasts, attend fermentation demo’s and sample everything from sour pickles, miso and natto, to cheeses, hard cider and kombucha.

2017 highlights:

Nat West of Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider will be making and sampling Hawaiian okolehao at this year’s festival! For festivals past Nat has made chicha, kumiss, Angel of Death (LAMB-steeped cider!) and other gutsy ferments. We always really, really look forward to the wild (in more ways than one) ferments that Nat experiments with and brings to the festival. Love it.

Imperfect Produce recently launched in Portland and they’ll be joining the Stinkfest festivities this year in order to talk up what they’re doing, hand out some of their Imperfect Produce and give fest attendees recipes to ferment their produce with.

Some of the fermented treats already on the roster to be sampled in the main festival hall from amateur and professional fermenters include Korean makgeolli, fermented mustards and ketchups, adaptogenic herbal kimchi, Wanpaku Natto from Heidi Nestler, Soma Kombucha and Elixirs, Eva’s Herbucha, Squirrel and Crow Tempeh, Claudia Lucero of Urban Cheesecraft’s vegan fermented cheeses and much, much more.

On the beautiful Ecotrust rooftop (with its lovely open hearth to cozy up to and pretty strung lights) we’ll have food and drink for sale. Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider will be pouring delicious hard cider and Cinder BBQ (at Bushwhacker Cider every Thursday) will serve tasty sandwiches. DJ Jimbo will make his annual pickled playlist for the fest so you can sip on cider, eat a ‘cue sandwich and listen to sweet and salty Jimbo tunes under the stars. We have surprisingly *never* had a rainy Portland Fermentation Festival. Strange but true.

Festival demo’s will take place throughout the night. Please check our social media closer to the date for details.

Admission for the 6pm or 7:30pm Thursday festival tastings and fermentation demos is $10.

Online tickets are on sale! A limited number of tickets will be available at the door the night of the festival and will be $12/cash only.

If you or your business has a ferment that you’d like to sample and/or demo at this year’s festival please visit our website for info. on how to apply to be a part.

Festival coverage:


Photos from last year’s festival Food Lover’s Guide to Portland

Cooking Up a Story

KBOO Food Show

Portland Monthly

Willamette Week

Portland Mercury


Facebook Portland Fermentation Festival
Twitter @PDXFermentFest
Website www.portlandfermentationfestival.com

Long Live Jorinji Miso

April 5th, 2014

Planning committee.

My friend Earnest Migaki, pictured above, needs your help. It’s not just the residential rental market in Portland that’s tight — the commercial rental market is as well and Earnest has been without a production facility for his Jorinji Miso company for several months now. In a month he will run out of all of his already produced miso currently available throughout Portland in markets such as Uwajimaya and Anzen. Portland, we cannot let that happen.

I first met Earnest and his late wife Sumiko when I was researching the first issue of my book Food Lover’s Guide to Portland — they were the first interview that I conducted for it. And every year following they participated in the Portland Fermentation Festival. Earnest’s miso is some of the very best that I’ve ever had (I really love miso) and if you haven’t tried it you better help Earnest find a new commercial kitchen otherwise you won’t get to! Miso takes a loooong time to make. The youngest miso that Earnest makes takes four months of fermentation.

Why should you care? My friend Earnest is an amazing human being and he has endured so much hardship in the past year — more hardship than I’ve endured my entire life. Earnest has been to hell and back again and now he needs Portland’s help. Step one: help Earnest find a commercial kitchen for Jorinji Miso. Please email me at liz crain at gmail dot com with any leads and I will pass them along tout suite to Earnest.

Please SHARE THE FUCK out of this — word of mouth, Facebook, Twitter, bulletin boards, forums, get it tattooed on your FACE. Thank you. Don’t actually get anything tattooed on your face. Your face is beautiful just the way it is.

Earnest is looking to lease:

A standard commercial kitchen space that is 1,000 to 2,000 square feet that is $2,000 or less a month in Portland, ideally Southeast Portland.
The kitchen can be shared but he can’t work with anyone working with yeast because the koji for the miso doesn’t work when yeast is present.
Ideally the space will have plenty of storage space, a 3 basin sink, an 8-10 gas burner, room for a large industrial mixer and AC.

The day I met Earnest and Sumiko five years ago.

From Earnest's Jorinji scrapbook.


Portland Fermentation Festival 2011 Redux

October 21st, 2011

Matt Choi serving up his spicy, crunchy, awesome kimchi.

What an amazing event and turnout! Yes, we know that many of you got stuck in the long line last night that snaked down the stairs, out the building, and around the block but we hope with all hope that you stuck it out and found that the wait and the crush was worth it. We put Portland Fermentation Festival together every year with a shoestring budget + heaps of volunteered hours and we’re so grateful that Ecotrust puts up with us every stinking (literally) year. Thank you again Ecotrust! We love you.

But yes, we do hear you, it was too crowded and the line was too long this year. We’ll problem solve and come back in briny style next year for 4.0. Thank you so much to everyone who exhibited, volunteered and attended! Portland Fermentation Festival is an annual love letter to our fair city. True blue Portland spirit fuels it and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Thanks again to everyone who was a part.

If you’d like to keep up with local fermenty goings-on please check out our website, Facebook and Twitter. This year we had a very generous serving of media attention. Here’s a slice of that coverage if you didn’t get enough firsthand last night…

Willamette Week
Portland Tribune
Portland Farmers Market

I was able to take a good amount of photos at the festival last night before we opened the doors as well as after…

Erica Fayrie's as good as it looks sauerkraut with beets.

Eva Sippl's Eva's yummy Herbucha in the house.

Lynne Van Dusen's Vine to Brine lacto-fermented sodas. Really tasty.

Festival co-organizer Mr. David Barber of Picklopolis aka King of Brine! Ghost pickles! Ah!

Peg Butler and posse serving up krautini (fermented cabbage tonic), fermented garlic, sour dills and sourdough rye. Yum!

Galen Williams and Pete Mulligan's delicious hard cider.

Biwa chef-owner Gabe Rosen and Kina Voelz serving up Biwa's hurts so good spicy daikon kimchi.

Earnest and Sumiko Migaki of Jorninji Miso cooking up a stockpot of their amazing miso, and sampling miso sauce and amazake made with their own koji.

Allen Field rocking his spicy kimchi and Turkish sauerkraut.

Nat and Sarah West sampling tart and tasty hard cider. Ridiculously good.

Anna Stulz with more fiery good kimchi.

And then the doors opened and the crowd moved in...

Courtlandt Jennings' Pickled Planet with all sorts of big, briny goodness.

Curious Farm's Cathy Smith serving up leek horseradish kraut, fermented chili sauce and more.

And the crowd kept growing...

Hank Tallman's Mama Hank's Pickled Veg. The spicy fermented green tomatoes were kick-ass good.

The line wrapped around the staircase out the door of Ecotrust and around the block within twenty minutes. We knew that the festival was going to be big this year but we didn't realize it'd be this big. Wow.

The lovely Kate Patterson sampling her festival favorite-- fermented salmon. Mmmm.

Festival organizers David Picklopolis Barber, me, and Mr. George dapper foodist Winborn right before the doors closed at 8pm.

One of the better looking cleanup crews in town! Good night and good luck.

Thanks to everyone who made the third annual Portland Fermentation Festival happen! We love you.

Happy Anniversary Blog: Two years and counting

February 22nd, 2011

It’s been two years since I started this blog as a sort of companion piece to my book Food Lover’s Guide to Portland. Since the beginning I’ve aimed to keep my posts short and sweet and informative for Portland food folks and visitors. I hope it’s been helpful.

This time last year I celebrated one year of blogging with a sort of year-in-review. It was a nice way to take stock so I’m doing it again for the two-year marker. Thanks for stopping by now and again. Thanks for chiming in now and again. Thanks to each and every one of you out there who celebrate our local food scene in Portland and beyond. Here are some blog highlights from the past year…

I started off February 2010 with our semi-annual Cincinnati chili feed. Can’t beat Gartner’s dogs, spicy Cincy chili and finely grated Tillamook cheddar…

Sometimes 3-ways are sloppy. Cincinnati chili 3-ways that is...

Portland International Film Festival followed shortly after. PIFF is my favorite local film fest and we always do PIFF + Pizza. Was going to giveaway some tickets here for this year’s now in its final week but unfortunately got too busy. Go to PIFF while you still can!

Cheese followed by egg...

I won an Excalibur Food Dehydrator and made my first batch of spicy beef jerky late March. It was amazing and I’ve made it many times since…

Thin sliced tri-tip ready to marinate and dry...

In May I had my first interview in The Sun Magazine with one of my favorite people — Sandor Ellix Katz

I never thought this day would come...

Several weeks later I had a kick-ass book launch party for Food Lover’s Guide to Portland the day it came out — July 1st, 2010…

The best celebration I could have hoped for. So much fun.

At the end of summer my boyfriend and I went on a magical 10-day sailing trip around the San Juan Islands and I blogged about our DIY galley cooking in three installments…

We have a stainless grill too but most of what we cooked on the boat happened here.

In the fall we put together a filled-to-the-gills second annual Portland Fermentation Festival at Ecotrust…

Biwa's rocking kimchi with big chunks of daikon and lots of fire.

Late December I got to press hard cider with our friend Nat and he gave me a carboy of the stuff to take home and ferment myself…

Nat sorting through one of the last Newtown Pippin apple bins.

And just in time for the new year I made miso for the first time. In a month or so I’ll be checking on it…

After mashing the soybeans you mix that with the brined koji...


Eat, drink and be hairy!

Homemade Red Bean Miso

January 31st, 2011

I used my leftover koji to make this red bean miso.

Earlier this winter I made a big batch of traditional soybean miso for the first time. It’s still sitting pretty and I’ll check on it this spring and most likely scoop it out next winter. I made a second batch of miso a few days after the soybean miso with red beans because I had some leftover koji and didn’t want it to go to waste. If you don’t know what koji is read this.

I don’t need to make my own miso since there’s really good local Jorinji Miso but every year I like to try a new ferment or two and this year happens to be paved with miso. Do you like miso? How do you cook with it?

Homemade red bean miso up close...

Red bean miso salted and ready for the wait...

Read about my homemade soybean miso.

Homemade Soybean Miso

December 6th, 2010

Soak the soybeans (or whatever legume you are using for the miso) overnight and cook them the next day until soft.

Every year I try to make at least one new type of food/drink ferment. This year it’s miso. One of my favorite discoveries while writing my book was Earnest and Sumiko Migaki’s local Jorinji Miso. They cracked the world of miso wide open for me and now I appreciate it more than ever.

I love Jorinji’s misos and have been lucky enough to try a lot of their more unusual products such as lima bean miso, chickpea miso, miso butter cookies, aka-shiso juice and amaranth juice.

Now I’m trying my hand at home miso making because I’m curious and I love fermented foods. I used Sandor Ellix Katz’s recipe from Wild Fermentation to make my first batch of soybean miso in the photos below. Now I just have to wait a year until it’s ready!

If you're making miso you need to source koji. I bought my koji at Uwajimaya but I know that People's Food Co-op also carries it along with a lot of other Asian markets...

Commercal rice koji. You can also buy other grain koji as well as inoculate your own koji if you buy the mold culture.

Koji mixed with a strong brine and a couple tablespoons of mature miso...

After I mashed the soft, cooked soybeans I mixed that with the brined koji and mature miso mix above...

Finally I salted my fermentation vessel (a food-grade bucket in this case) and packed the miso in. I added a good amount of salt to the top before weighing it down with a plate and covering it with a towel. I'll let you know how it tastes a year from now!

Read about my homemade red bean miso.