5. The ancient craft of fermentation is hot again.
Fermentation harnesses the power of microbes to transform the flavors and textures of food—like milk into creamy yogurt, cabbage into sauerkraut and tea into bubbly kombucha. Signs of the fermentation craze are everywhere: fermentation guru Sandor Katz’s latest book, The Art of Fermentation, won a James Beard Award this year; mobile kombucha brewing stands are bubbling up at farmers’ markets; and rows of small-batch artisanal sauerkrauts are filling shelves at the local supermarket. Plus, as John Grossmann reports in the January/February 2014 issue of EatingWell magazine, the first fermentation bar in the country has opened in Healdsburg, California, to serve the local community kefir waters, kombuchas and shrubs, along with traditional fermented beverages we’ve loved forever—a.k.a. wine and beer.