LA is a city big on preservation — and we’re not just talking about Botox and fillers. There are more than a few exceptional food preservers in this town, like Chef Ernest Miller of The Farmer’s Kitchen and the dedicated kimchi connoisseurs of Koreatown’s Galleria Market. Joining the ranks of these pickling pros is Jordan “Uri” Laio of Brassica & Brine: Nutrient-Dense Living Foods, an LA-based food line specializing in organic, wild-fermented foods. And he likes to do things old school.
Brassica & Brine uses the Old World fermentation method that shies away from vinegar, preservatives and heat, instead relying on high quality sea salt to provide a more nutrient-packed product. Produce is sourced from organic farmers in California, including Flora Bella Farm, Tutti Frutti Farms, and Steve Wynbrandt’s West LA mini farm; when it can’t be sourced locally (like the teas for their kombucha), Laio searches for high quality, sustainable ingredients.
The Southern California native’s obsession with lacto-fermentation began on an organic farm in Connecticut, though when he started his first year of law school in San Francisco, fermentation became more of a side hobby. Laio soon realized he was happier pickling cucumbers than litigating, dropped out of school to apprentice at Berkley’s Cultured Pickle Shop and then moved to LA to start Brassica & Brine. It proved to be a smart move — his trademark jars are now a sought-after farmers market staple.
Products incorporate unique flavor combinations, like Organic Smoky Chipotle Kraut, Organic Chlorophyll Kraut (with spirulina, kale and nettles) and Organic Spiced Beet Kraut, plus traditional fare like Organic Kimchi Karma and 100% treatment-free honey. Though they don’t have a brick-and-mortar store, Brassica & Brine has found a fan in Santa Monica’s Farmshop, where the majority of their products are sold. You can also find them at the newly formed Altadena Farmers Market, and their online store is always open.
Have you tried any delicious Brassica & Brine veggies? Tell us about it!
Images courtesy of Brassica & Brine.