I love workshops, especially related to food! They are a perfect venue to meet people outside of your immediate circle and I always leave with a new experience and something to share. Today I spent a fun and informative morning at a fermentation workshop run by Lia Chiasson, held at the charming and funky Mycoboutique located on at 4324 St. Denis in downtown Montreal, QC.
I first discovered Mycoboutique by chance in a blog while Googling “where to find live SCOBYs in Montreal.” Mycoboutique specializes in everything fungi, and has branched out into fermentation. The manager, Judith, is very inviting and knowledgeable and Lianne is a very crafty and passionate fermenter who creates fantastic cultures. I bought my first SCOBY mother from Mycoboutique and it has enthusiastically produced gallons of delicious kombucha and over 50+ baby SCOBY’s! I have also purchased my first fresh water kefir grains there, and today bought fresh milk kefir grains that had recently been colonized. In addition to cultures, Mycoboutique also sells fermenting tools such as jars, lids, PH strips, fermenting crocks and valves. It has a cozy, homey atmosphere and the staff is very relaxed, friendly and eager to share their knowledge.
Lia Chiasson works at Urban Seedling as a speaker, vegetable gardening consultant and coordinator. She has been practicing and experimenting with fermentation, and experienced different techniques during her an agricultural mission in Guatemala, following graduation from an International Relations and Environmental Studies program.
Lia’s 3-hour workshop was interesting and entertaining. Her genuine enthusiasm and passion about fermentation was very evident in her presentation. She explained the history and importance of fermentation and covered the basics, as well as organized a group sauerkraut-making activity. In addition to learning new information about fermentation tips and techniques from Lia, I also noted, based on the questions from my group members, that fermentation was not widely understood by most before having attended the seminar today. However, judging by the enthusiasm and diversity of the group this morning, there is a genuine interest and desire to learn more, and, to quote Lia Chiasson, “to empower oneself with knowledge to better health.”