My first real world experience with unknown cultured foods was kombucha. I bought it on a whim from the grocery store and I really liked it but didn't like the price tag, 3.99 for a 16 oz. bottle. I googled it and low and behold there was a way to make it at home. I made my own kombucha mother and have been brewing ever since. I had no idea that I could have order a ready made kombucha mother online.
My next "weird" culture food was kefir and buying that from the store isn't always easy on the check book either. It wasn't until we purchased our family dairy cow that I really needed to get interested in making my own kefir, partly because I needed something to do with all the milk. On one late night clicking spree I happened upon a FB page called Cultures for Health and then stumbled into their store. Cultures, a whole store of cultures, bliss! I ordered right then milk kefir grains and yogurt starters (2 different kinds, Matsoni and Greek). The site was easy to navigate and the shipping was flat rate shipping (LOVE that) and my stuff came really fast. What most impressed me was the quality of the product. If I may, let me share the story of my milk kefir grains.
Our house is very open and the instructions say to keep out of drafts. I put my little grains in the oven so they would stay nice and toasty warm. The next morning upon waking I decided that muffins sounded really good to go with breakfast. So, I got up and started to preheat the oven to 425 and didn't remember that my poor little kefir grains were in the oven. By the time I realized they were in there (thanks to a reminder from my hubby) the milk was steaming. Kefir grains do not tolerate excessive heat. I quickly rinsed them in really cold water and poured fresh cold milk over them. I was crushed. They had been growing so well that I had shared some with a friend. I went online to Cultures for Health and asked if they would live? The answer, most likely no, they don't like heat. I was crushed. Julie, from Cultures for Health gave me a coupon code for 10% off my next order which was really cool, but even cooler, my grains LIVED. Those little grains lived through being preheated to 425 degrees.
I have also ordered water kefir and sourdough starter from there and have been very impressed. We make over a half gallon of water kefir a day because they have multiply so much. I even took some and added them to my milk kefir to help give my grains a boost. They have done wonderfully. I am excited to tell you that I am now an affiliate member of Cultures for Health. What does that mean? That means if you click on the Cultures for Health banner in my sidebar and make a purchase I get a small portion of the sale. One of the reasons I don't have google ads on my blog is because I can't control the content of what is advertised and I only will advertise something that I whole heartily believe in. So click and see what Cultures for Health has to offer and get some culture in your life.