Karen Solomon, Author

My good friend Michele turned me on to Karen Solomon by sharing her book Asian Pickles: Sweet, Sour, Salty, Cured, and Fermented Preserves (the title has me salivating…how about you?).  I had been playing with fermenting foods for quite a while, doing the standard sauerkraut, vinegar, lemons — delving into miso and other koji ferments, but I had no idea how deep the dive could be!

Karen is from my old stomping grounds, the Bay Area, a place with a rich diverse culture and access to ingredients and expertise from around the world.  And, my favorite part is that it is obvious that she actually prepared everything that is in her cookbook (which she confirmed when I interviewed her).  You have probably picked up beautiful cookbooks before, and then looked at recipes and photos and seen that there are ingredients in the photo that doesn’t appear in the recipe — so frustrating!  Well, not a problem with Karen’s books.  In fact I felt like she was looking over my shoulder as I read — when I’d read something and say what?! — she would then explain that while right now you were saying what?!  the explanation is coming – and there it would be in the next sentence.

And there are more books -Yes, books plural!  Because while I was happy to find that the Asian Pickles book was her most recent endeavor, she also wrote Can it, Bottle it Smoke it — and her other book, Jam it, Pickle it, Cure it.  She makes fun things like sauces, dressings, dips, pasta, pickles, preserved meats and fish, jams, cheese, sweet treats and frozen popsicles, savory granola, nut milks — Cheese Weasels anyone?!

If you are into being a food geek, you can listen to Part 1 and Part 2 of this interview!