first tempeh harvest
Sunday, February 19 2012
The tempeh I'd had incubating since my birthday was now covered with a somewhat frightening-looking matt of fuzz. Initially this fuzz had been as white as a wedding dress, but now it was turning black around the edges, presumably due to the maturation of spores. Unfortunately, some of the beans had dried out and hadn't been invaded by mold because I hadn't kept the mass of them within a sufficiently-tight vapor barrier, and the drying only seemed to be getting worse, so I decided to harvest the most advanced of the two tempeh patties.
The harvested patty didn't initially look that much like tempeh; it was a mass of mold on one side and a bed of dried soy beans on the other, but once I cut it into it, the cross sections looked like the tempeh one buys in a store. I decided to immediately use the fresh tempeh as a meat substitute in a hearty red sauce destined for pasta. Unfortunately for Gretchen, she had to leave for volunteer work at the Rosendale Theatre a few minutes before my fancy hot lunch was finished.
It would be inaccurate for me to say that my tempeh was as good as the kind one buys in a store. Texture-wise, it was perfect (all the inter-bean space was filled with white mycelia), though the flavor had a subtle gamey quality that reminded me of the way a box of live baby chicks smells after it's been shipped through the United State Postal system. I'd actually smelled that smell very early in the incubation process, and it's possible it goes away with time.
My tempeh fresh from harvesting.
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