So we’re serving spoiled food? Well, sorta. I was listening to an interview with Chef Sean Brock on Splendid Table the other day and he spoke about a trip to West Africa and discovering this fermented pea fritter. So I thought it was worth a Google. In the process, I found out that this fritter, Akara or Acaraje, is a staple of street food in Brazil. Brought there by slaves. Also along the way, I found Sandor Katz, who also lives in Tennessee. He is the father of the new wave of American Pickling and Fermentation. So I decided to try his Acaraje recipe. If you’re interested, you can read all about it here. I won’t relist the recipe as I think reading the entire article is important. We used field peas rather than black eyed peas and let the whole pea ferment before working it into a batter. Admittedly, the idea of sitting something on the counter to essentially ‘spoil’ is intimidating. However, by gaining some knowledge of the process behind it and the fact that these things have nothing in them to make them rise except the fermentation gasses and onion, is pretty interesting.
We were originally going to go Brazilian and have them with shrimp, but we had steak that needed to be cooked. So we had steak, creamed swiss chard, and fermented pea fritters!