"If we would call something 'fermented,' consumers would have a shock and wonder whether we were feeding them something they're not supposed to eat," says Saumya Dwivedi, a senior research specialist at IFF.
Instead, when leading focus groups Ms. Dwivedi sticks to the adjectives she hears consumers use as they describe the fermented flavors they taste: tangy, pickled, briny.
Chef Paul Virant is the author of a book for home fermenting, "The Preservation Kitchen." The menus at his two high-end, Chicago-area restaurants center around fermented flavors. His team cans about $35,000 worth of produce, or about 4,000 jars, each year.
The sour notes generated during fermentation help balance the flavors of his cooking, he says, which includes Brussels-sprout kimchi and duck confit with fermented rutabaga. "People are pleasantly surprised when they try it," he says.
Mmm, the Flavors of Fermentation, WSJ, ELLEN BYRON April 10, 2013