October 24, 2010 §
There is something very special about sharing food with other people. Since we’re really into defining words here, let me define “companion” for you:
1: one that accompanies another : comrade, associate; also :one that keeps company with another 2 obsolete : rascal 3 a : one that is closely connected with something similarb : one employed to live with and serve another 4: a celestial body that appears close to another but that may or may not be associated with it in space
Middle English compainoun, from Anglo-French cumpaing, cumpaignun, from Late Latin companion-, companio, from Latin com- + panis bread, food — more at food
To me, companions are people who share food. I love cooking for other people and eating with other people. Lately, I have been excited about a new way of connecting through food: sharing cultures. While it’s new to me, people have been doing it for thousands of years. I’m not talking about cultures of people. I’m talking about the cultures of kombucha and kefir that two strangers gave to me. And today, I am bringing some of my kefir grains to another friend so he can start his own culture. As long as people keep sharing, the cycle goes on and on. These cultures are living communities of bacteria, really good bacteria. I nourish them and they nourish me. It’s a beautiful thing.
If you are interested in cultivating some kombucha, kefir, yogurt, or some other culture, the process is pretty simple. As you can probably imagine, there is a ton of information online already. This website
is very informative, and I admire Dom’s passion. At first I read a lot, but then I couldn’t figure out where to find cultures in my area. Behold, upon googling phrases such as “kefir Madrid,” I found several free directories of people near me who share their cultures. I emailed a few folks, and within a few days I had kombucha, water kefir, and milk kefir. I didn’t have to pay any money, but I promised to pay it forward by sharing my cultures with more people.
Milk kefir, green tea kombucha, and water kefir.