Britt's Live Cultured foods

This article was originally published in January 2016

Britt's fermented vegetables

Britt’s Live Cultured Foods on Whidbey Island, Washington, makes pickles and other fermented vegetables the old-fashioned way: in oak barrels where they’re brined for up to six weeks. The result is raw, live, cultured vegetables that are as tasty as they are healthful.

PCC has sold Britt’s fermented vegetables in jars for some time — but now we’re pleased to announce we sell them in bulk at our “fermented foods stations” in seven PCC stores, including Edmonds, Redmond, Issaquah, Fremont, Greenlake Village, Columbia City and West Seattle. You’ll find the bulk Caraway Kraut, Curry Kraut, Kimchi and Britt’s Mix — a medley of cultured seasonal vegetables — available exclusively at PCC.

Why naturally fermented?

Most conventional (shelf-stable) pickles are processed using vinegar and calcium chloride, cooked under extreme heat and then pasteurized. This causes the cucumbers to lose most of their vitamin C and enzymes and kills off the healthy bacteria that aid digestion, fight disease and provide amazing flavor.

Instead of using vinegar, Britt’s uses natural fermentation. Oak barrels are perfect containers for fermenting foods. The natural tannins in the wood help lower the pH of the brine, which in turn helps the lactic acid bacteria preserve the vegetables.

The process of fermenting vegetables using lactic acid bacteria has been used for thousands of years.

Rich in probiotics

Cultured foods are having a moment. From artisan sauerkrauts to cultured cottage cheese to kombucha, eaters can’t seem to get enough of foods teeming with good bacteria. These bacteria, called probiotics, assist with normal digestion and benefit our immune system, warding off colds and even boosting our mood.

In addition to finding probiotics in Britt’s, you’ll find them in fermented vegetables from the brands Firefly Kitchen and OlyKraut, yogurt, kefir, miso, tempeh, Good Belly probiotic drinks and a range of supplements at PCC.

Favorite Britt’s Fermented Vegetables

Caraway Kraut

Traditional sauerkraut, made simply with cabbage, caraway seed and salt. (bulk and jars)

Curry Kraut

Sauerkraut with the addition of earthy turmeric and cumin. (bulk and jars)

Market Kimchi

Made with cabbage, broccolini, carrots, apples, oranges, meyer lemons and more. A little spicy! (bulk and jars)

Britt’s Mix

A medley of seasonal local vegetables. A PCC exclusive. (bulk only)

Full Sour Pickles

Old-school deli pickles with a traditional central European taste. (jars only)

Hot & Sour Pickles

If you like hot, try these! Made with chili, chipotle, and allspice. (jars only)

Also in this issue

Saving organic citrus

The Florida citrus industry is under serious attack, being devastated by a disease known as Citrus Greening.

Soil & Sea: reports from our producers

Learn why beekeepers and cod fisherman are worried, why cows are flying on aircraft to China, the future of faux "shrimp" and more!

Staff picks

This month our staff love Jacobs Creamery Bloomy Cheese, PCC Deli's Smoked Mozzarella Pasta, Umcka Cold Care, and more! Plus, look for organic blood oranges, Cara Cara oranges, Murcott tangerines, Seville oranges and Autumn Glory apples in our produce aisles.