The Culture Whisper guide to friendly bacteria
You might have noticed something a little lively raising its head in the food industry recently. Fermented foods, and so-called 'good bacteria' are all the rage. Recent studies have linked a healthy gut with anything and everything, from perfect skin and leaner figure, to a good night’s sleep.
A particular concern is that the modern Western diet has led to much less diversity in our gut bacteria, which could be negatively affecting our wellbeing, as well as our waistlines. So people are looking to fermented foods and other ‘probiotics’, full of friendly bacteria, to top up the good guys in their gut. Marylebone restaurant High Mood Food has even made them its USP.
Most interestingly, there’s a school of thought that a happy tummy also leads to a happy mind.
But what are these wonder foods, and where can you find them in the capital?
This fiery South Korean pickle is the one to go for if you like your pickles with a kick. Like sauerkraut, kimchi is a type of pickled cabbage, but this one is loaded with chilli. It’s hot and utterly delicious, specially when combined with dishes like bibimbap or as a side to traditionally barbecued meat. It’s not always vegetarian, though most producers in London have adapted the recipe to omit the fish, but do check if it’s a worry.
Where to try it: Head to cool Korean street food joint On the Bab.