Fernando Goldenstein and Leonardo Andrade are passionate about the fermentation realm. This passion led them to create two different businesses in São Paulo, the Cia dos Fermentados, which sells kombuchas, pickles, sauces and other fermented products; and the Fermentare, a school dedicated to disseminating this ancestral culture that is back in fashion in the gastronomy world and for those interested in healthy eating.
The meeting of both of them with fermentation processes has roots in their childhood. Fernando’s mother, Lea, came from an Eastern European country, where sour and acid tastes prevail, so these were frequent in his home. In his 20’s, when he was still a student, he used to have fun making lime and pepper pickles (these recipes are now sold by their company). Léo, in his turn, grew up eating bread and vegetables fermented by their parents and the homemade vinegar of his grandmother on his mother’s side, Maria Ignes.
For a long time, those preparations were only made for personal use. But then, a friend asked for some pickles, other friends wanted to buy some kombucha or vinegar…and the duo started by selling a small production that slowly became a business opportunity.
It was time to give up their solid careers. Fernando is a physicist ,graduate and post-graduate of University of São Paulo , and used to work as a professor at universities and companies. Léo is a designer and a photographer, studied at Instituto Europeu de Design and at Escola Panamericana de Artes and used to work in advertising.
“We don’t want to just sell our products or our courses. We are activists, we want people to (re)discover the fermentation processes, to start making their own food and drinks and we would like to raise people’s awareness of the culture and ancient dietary knowledge so that it doesn’t fade away , said Fernando. “That’s why we teach the techniques and share our recipes. We don’t intend to only sell products, but to make people understand and adopt fermented foods in their daily lives”, added Léo.
For this very reason, they are almost finishing their first book, a practical guide to fermentation, in which they teach the first steps of the most important processes and share recipes of kombucha, vinegar, pickles, sauces and even soda, beer and wine. The book has the curatorship of the Instituto Brasil a Gosto, responsible to add a strong Brazilian touch for the content, contributing with okra pickles, cashew fruit cider and jabuticaba wine.