Our local take on this Latin American ferment, curtido is a spicy relish that is usually eaten to cut the rich fattiness of pupusas or deep fried flatbreads stuffed with fillings such as squash, cheese, or meat—kind of reminiscent of our empanadas. We enjoy curtido as a side dish to coconut-milk based curries or toppings in homemade tacos. Usually made with the trinity of cabbage, jalapeño, and carrots, our version uses our local abundance of sayote or green papaya and carrots and native chiles.
Storage: Keep refrigerated.
About fermented foods:
One of the best ways to improve our immune system and build resistance is through the regular intake of lacto-fermented foods. Fermentation is a time-honoured technique that prolongs the shelf life of highly perishable but highly beneficial foods like fruits and vegetables through the production of lactic acid bacteria with the absence of oxygen. It arrests spoilage and creates an acidic environment that is inhospitable to toxins and pathogens, while also improving the nutrient profile of foods.
“Health-Promoting Components in Fermented Foods: An Up-to-Date Systematic Review.” 2019. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31137859
“Probiotic fermented foods and health promotion.” 2015.