By Polly Fossey
Opening a jar of Small World fermented and raw garlic scapes is like opening a door to a raucous party. The seal gives way with a “pop” and juices inside begin to fizzle loudly as energetic bubbles rise to the top. Meanwhile, you are hit with the tantalizing and unmistakable smell of garlic.
The secret to this amazing product is that there is no secret! This is a naturally fermented pickle, which means nothing but fresh produce, simple brine and a selection of spices (fennel and black pepper) goes in this jar. Once the components are combined, the alchemy of fermentation happens all on its own. When deprived of oxygen and with a little encouragement from the salt brine, microbes inside the food begin to metabolize sugars to produce lactic acid, pro-biotic cultures and carbon dioxide. These compounds suppress spoilage, preserve nutrition and add complexity of flavor and aroma.
Small World Products in Rochester, NY is a company after our own heart here at the Bushwick Food Cooperative. Not only does Small World refuse to compromise on the quality of their organic, local ingredients, but they are also a worker owned collective with a focus on building strong community.
So what can you do with these delicious pickled scapes? I like to cut them on a severe bias and toss them in a simple salad with radish and olive oil. Fermented veggies also go great with smoked cheese and meats. Sop up any extra juices with some good focaccia or sourdough. When the scapes are gone, use the brine again in salad dressing, marinades, braises or as a hangover remedy.