When I saw the Lemonayo Kickstarter Campaign I knew I had to dig out the mason jar again and get back to fermenting. Being the dark-bread-and-cream-cheese kind of guy, I'm always looking for alternative spreads, and this lemon thing got me hooked.
Watching the campaign video over and over again, I tried to figure out how she does it. In the end I ended up with this recipe, it's still fermenting, so I'll discuss results when it's done.
- 1 red onion (130g)
- 2 full heads of garlic (65g)
- 6 lemons (500g)
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tbsp sea salt
- olive oil
First I peeled the onion and cut it into sixteenths (1/16) and separated the different layers. Then I peeled the garlic and cut each clove in half.
For the lemons I chopped off the ends, cut them into quarters and removed the pips as I want to just blend everything later without having to worry about picking them out of the fermented matter. Using the quarters I squeezed out the juice and separated the flesh from the rind, as at that point I thought I didn't want to blend the rind and still wanted some lemon parts in the finished product.
I packed all the veggies into the mason jar, added the salt and gave it a good stir to have the different ingredients distributed evenly in the jar. My rationale was to improve the extraction of the different flavors by not having them all in bulk, so their concentration in the medium is as even as possible. That should help with osmosis.
As a finishing touch I added the bay leaves and cinnamon stick in the same manner as seen in the video. I filled the glass with water around a centimeter below the rim and topped it off with olive oil. Since the creator mentioned adding olive oil later in the process I thought that shouldn't hurt and from another fermentation experiment I had kept in mind that such a layer seals the fermentation matter from germs during the process.
This is to sit in my closet, away from direct sunlight, for 30 days. Inspired by the spices visible in the "secret ingredients" section of the video, I also bought some vanilla pods and plan to add cardamom, but I'll probably skip the anise, as I personally don't like the taste at all.
A couple of days after I prepared everything, I stumbled upon a very similar recipe on the website of the Kickstarter campaign creator. Here she just cuts into the lemons instead of fully slicing them and fills them with salt water. Yet this is different from what is shown in the video. Also she only uses water, no sealing layer of olive oil so I guess that's optional. She also advisese to blend the whole lemons, especially the rind, so I guess I'll try two different preparations and see if the rind really makes it too bitter. I can still combine them afterwards.
Update from 2018-09-22 (day 3)
The red onion started to diffuse its color all over the jar, I can see small bubbles accumulating and bubbling to the top everywhere and the cinnamon stick unrolled a bit. Looks like the fermentation process is going full throttle :]