Hi,I have your CD set and have been inspired by you to start making cultured vegetables - but I have a small problem and need advice. I live in the Middle East where it's not possible to get a lot of things available elsewhere and at this time of year the temperature frequently goes up to 50 degrees C and over, so I'm worried about shipping the culture here as it might be destroyed by the heat ? Do you think this will happen? If I don't use a culture, will it work in this climate, if I can keep it in a moderate temperature ? Maybe this is a stupid question but Is it possible to introduce a culture from a good quality probiotic capsule, such as the Global Healing Center's 'bacillus laterosporus' which I already have? No-one mentions any other sources of cultures than the sachets you use in your DVD. I would really appreciate your advice on this.


Aloha Miranda,

thank you for writing. I have done some investigation and found that you may not be able to mail Veggie Culture from your company. Wilderness Family Naturals is the company I called. Since I do not know what country specifically that you are in, I could not be certain. According to them, you must check first, because if they do send it and it is rejected it is very expensive for them. You may be able to find culture in your own region, but I am sorry I cannot advise you about that because I don't know the area.

As for using probiotic pills, that will not work. You do not have to have a Veggie Culture to make cultured vegetables. Follow the instructions in the DVD and they will ferment on their own. I used to never use a culture.  Make sure you add some salt and that a little water is above the vegetable line if you are making them in a bowl. In other words, if you have a large plate on top and then something heavy, you add a little water so that air cannot get into the vegetables. Then cover with a cloth and set in a dark space.

I live in a warm climate too. I have had mold issues a few times, but I think my crock got mold in the pores of the porcelain. The warm climate should produce great veggies. If you use a glass canning jar and you follow the directions you should get great veggies. You may want to incubate them longer if you do not have culture.

The main thing is to give it a try. You will know if the batch is off. If you do have any moldy questionable stuff on top, just scrape off and see how the veggies taste. Also, you can test them after about 7 days and see if they need more time. Without a culture they may need 10 days to 2 weeks.

Good luck and please keep me posted. Chef Teton

Aloha again Susan,

I'm sure you're very busy so I thought I should let you know that it was a false alarm re the smell i was complaining of, so you don't need to worry about that - I found that one of the lids was loose and liquid had spilled out onto the kitchen towel it was on - everything is fine now except the concern about how warm is too warm? I'm also a little unsure about how long to leave the jars before refridgerating, as there's no culture in them. It's been 4 days now and, because it's warm here, I can't decide whether or not I should wait another couple of days.

Thanks Miranda

Dear Miranda,

So sorry I did not write u bk yet. I was in an airplane all day yesterday. I think u should let the veggies sit for at least 7 to 10 days. You can always open and them a taste if u want. You can smell them too. They will smell strong. If they are off u will know it because the smell is different, it smells rotton as opposed to strong. The smell that was in your closet was probably the right smell, strong. The smell also depends on the veggies u use. I did some with onions once. Oh my they smellked awful, but not rotton or off. They tasted great. You want them to taste strong and tart. Don't worry about the salt. It acts as a preservative and can help alleviate mold if it is probable. Use it next time, or whenyou open them to taste or smell, you can add a little salt water to the top (make it strong). Keep up the great work like a magician in the kitchen. Keep me posted! Teton

Sent on the Now Network™ from my Sprint® BlackBerry

Dear Chef,

Thanks so much - don't know what I would have done without your help. I probably would have been too scared to eat it!  I will keep you posted as to my success or failure and I'll be making another batch when the culture arrives. All I need now is a source of good recipes.