EAT YOUR WAY TO A HEALTHIER GUT
By Anita Lau | Contributor
JAN-FEB 2022 ISSUE
Photos credit courtesy of Fermentation Farm
Fermentation Farm is an extension of a home business that outgrew its capacity. Owner Dr. Yasmine Mason, a chiropractor by trade, was seeing more and more people complaining about digestive issues at the practice she shares with her husband. It prompted her to make gut-healthy remedies for her patients, such as fermented yogurt, bone broth, kombucha and jun.
Very quickly, Yasmine outgrew her kitchen; in 2014, she opened the current Fermentation Farm location on Victoria Street in Costa Mesa. The original single retail space has since grown, now comprising many kitchens, including one where fermenting classes are offered to the public.
While its moniker is slightly misleading — it’s not a farm, but rather, a market and restaurant — the farm aspect is 100 percent legit when you take into consideration the fresh, organic, and responsibly sourced produce used to create these gut-healthy probiotic foods. The well-stocked space is brimming with myriad goodies such as fermented vegetables, including kimchi and krauts, bone broths, kombucha, and other healthful, ready-made items for home use.
In February 2021, chef Amy Lebrun (formerly of Lido Bottle Works) joined the Fermentation Farm team. Her passion and drive are evident in not only her impressive menus, but also in the extensive variety you’ll find in the refrigerated section of the store.
It is vital to be hungry when you visit Fermentation Farm, as the menu offers an array of delicious items you won’t want to miss. During the week, the possibilities are endless. Try the morning taco or brekkie sando, a breakfast sandwich with bacon, egg, curtido (Salvadorean slaw), scallions and bread toasted with ghee.
Breakfast is served between 9 and 11 a.m. on weekdays and all day on weekends.
If it’s lunch you’re craving, the kraut grilled cheese, using raw cheese, house-made kraut and sourdough, is a must. The roasted brassicas and red curry dish is heavenly — a fantastic vegetarian option filled with cauliflower, broccoli, turnip, radish, Brussels sprouts and cabbage, bathed in chef Amy's fermented red curry. The curry sauce is available in the cold case and easy to add to your home recipes.
On weekends, find outstanding breakfast items such as the stunning shakshuka, taken up several notches with fermented harissa, black garlic sauce, tomato and pepper sauce, raw cheese, pasture eggs, squash blossoms, scallions, and served with ghee toast. Or, jammed French toast is a stunning presentation of the best in seasonality. This dish speaks for itself, as it’s as tasty as it is beautiful.
Taco Tuesday at Fermentation Farm is unlike any other. Dishes like the sweet potato taco and squash blossom mulita are aesthetically beautiful and absolutely delectable. Of course, chef Amy uses the freshest produce available, so ingredients often shift with the seasons. And on Thursdays, a handful of farmers set up shop outside. Not only does Amy take full advantage of their proximity, but visitors have easy access to this bounty as well.
No matter what day of the week you find yourself at Fermentation Farm, know that you’ll discover something on the menu worth trying. Sample the seasonal kombuchas on tap and then take a growler of your favorite home to enjoy, or select some items from the market and create your own gut-healthy meals at home.
Taking care of your health means so much more than meeting just physical needs. What you put into your body helps promote your physical, mental and emotional well-being. Real, whole ingredients that nourish you from the inside out are essential, especially as we age, and Fermentation Farm makes it easy to practice that mindful eating. Start with something small, like adding kombucha or fermented yogurt to your daily routine. You’ll soon find that a healthy gut does actually mean an overall, healthier you.