Have a Bit of Fizzy, Fermented Fun 

Fermentation goes beyond booze

Kimchi is as refreshing as it is pungent.

Kimchi is as refreshing as it is pungent.

41. Gimme some Kimchi

Some people lose their minds for kimchi. Others can barely stomach the smell. Though the fermented Korean side dish—generally made from cabbage—is certainly polarizing, a number of local establishments have embraced the spicy condiment with open arms. The Funky Taco, an Airstream food truck that slings eclectic, locally sourced fare, makes its own kimchi from scratch, which it serves in a quesadilla with smoked Gouda, homemade sweet red chili sauce and Idaho honey. The Dish loads up its kimchi fries with Korean beef, grilled onions, cheddar cheese, Sriracha mayo and kimchi. Contemporary Korean barbecue joint K-Fusion offers kimchi fried rice, with corn, green peas, garlic, fish sauce, fried egg and, of course, kimchi.

click to enlarge A tall glass of fizzy sweetness from Boise Kombucha. - KELSEY HAWES
  • Kelsey Hawes
  • A tall glass of fizzy sweetness from Boise Kombucha.

42. Get to Know Your Local Scoby

Gabe Yeamans, owner of Boise Kombucha, started brewing the fizzy, vinegary drink in his home 10 years ago. Kombucha is a fermented beverage made from tea and a SCOBY, or Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast. Last spring, Yeamans went commercial with his creation.

"People are just looking for alternatives to other drinks like soda and beer," Yeamans said. "It's got that fizzy, sweet yumminess and it's a healthier option to enjoy."

Now, Boise Kombucha is available on tap at Hello Dinner, PreFunk, The Crux, Kind Cuisine Cafe, World of Nutrition and Snake River Tea Company.

Yeamans' most popular flavors are his mojito and peach blossom. He uses as many local fruits and herbs as he can throughout the seasons.

click to enlarge Housemade soda from Bleubird. - KELSEY HAWES
  • Kelsey Hawes
  • Housemade soda from Bleubird.

43. Soda So Good

The sandwiches listed on Bleubird's chalkboard are nothing short of artisanal, stacked with fig preserves, shaved apple greens and pickled green tomatoes. But the sandwich shop doesn't stop there. Restaurateur David Kelly also serves up some surprising sodas.

"I bartended for 20 years before opening this place," Kelly said. "These were my old cocktails. I just took out the booze."

Bleubird's soda flavors include: ginger lime, basil lemonade and grapefruit rosemary, all of which Kelly mixes on the spot, adding a sprig of herb and a garnish of fruit.

Kelly also offers seasonal specials like orange tamarind and vanilla, strawberry ginger mint, blackberry sage and raspberry lavender. His ingredients come from local farmers markets whenever possible.

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