April Danann brings wild fermentation from West Cork to the city’s urban heart

April Danann

THE importance of gut health to our overall health and wellbeing has been gradually gaining momentum.

But in the past couple of years talk of macrobiotic gut health has filtered into our everyday chatter to make the topics of Fermentation one of the most intriguing food trends over recent times.  For those who have been advocating the benefits of fermented foods for years, this is less likely a matter of food trend and more an issue of food necessity.

April Danann, Food Scientist, Clinical Naturopathic Nutritionist and an expert in Wild Fermentation techniques has been developing her practice, producing fermented foods and teaching about their health benefits for the past decade. But what separates April’s approach to fermentation from others all comes down to a firm footing in the world of science – and a few captured spores of wild yeast.

As April said, “No-one told me that it was almost impossible to capture wild yeast!  I did notice that the only yeast that seemed to be available to buy in Ireland was commercialised from an industrial process, but just assumed that there must be another way to access wild yeast – so that’s what I set out to do!” 

April’s background is firmly fixed in science with an MSc and BSc (Hons) to her name and currently researching her PhD in Naturopathic Medicine.  But her approach to life is one that taps into the sweet spot where science and nature meet to create maximum benefits in health, nutrition and wellbeing. 

Wild Life

April’s experimental capture of wild yeast involved little more than some brown paper, molasses, water and time. Glass jars containing a small strip of paper and a little molasses were hung in various places around the garden of her West Cork home, in the shadow of Mount Kidd overlooking Roaring Water Bay.  After 30 days, the jars contained a liquid that was starting to faintly smell of vinegar – a sure sign of a colony of wild yeast beginning to emerge. Eventually, this grew into a fully formed Symbiotic Colony of natural Bacteria and wild Yeast (SCOBY) from which April was able to start fermenting apples to create her hugely popular Apple Cider Vinegar.

April said, “I was able to start creating a range of fermented products just from this one small batch of wild yeast.  I simply applied what I knew in science and recreated it in nature.  I am a true believer in the power of fermented foods to feed the gut, fix it and create a healthy environment for the good bacteria we need to digest our food properly and maintain good health physically and mentally.”

“Even just a small amount of Apple Cider Vinegar taken daily either neat or in water can have a phenomenal impact on health.  We often hear people refer to the gut as our second brain.  If something simple like taking ACV can have a positive impact, why wouldn’t you do it?”

Learn Fermentation Skills for a Healthy Life

April’s Wild Fermentation Workshop is coming to Cork City for the first time on Thursday 6th April at the Crawford Gallery Café.  Although living in West Cork, this is the first time she has found time to present her workshop to the people of Cork City. The beautiful setting of the Crawford Gallery Café being an ideal space to share her knowledge and techniques with others who would benefit from learning more about how eating and drinking fermented foods can improve their health.

“In this Workshop, participants will learn about the basics of Wild Fermentation, the how and why it is beneficial for health.  We will taste lots of fermented foods that I make from SCOBY that are direct descendants from my original captured wild yeast, from sourdough bread to sweet treats; sauerkraut, ginger-bugs, a variety of different herbal infused Apple Cider Vinegars and my specialty Herbal Kombucha.  I will be introducing several methods of fermenting foods, various means of increasing nutritional content and bioavailability of nutrients as well as how to create exquisite tasting high vibration tonics.”

The Happy Pear has hosted April and her workshop at their phenomenally popular café in Greystones, also stocking her Apple Cider Vinegars. Dave Flynn, one half of the dynamic Happy Pear duo said We have done a good few workshops with April and filmed some videos with her. She is an incredibly passionate and amazing woman that will inspire all in her path to ferment! She really is inspiring and one of front runners of recent and rising fermenting on movement in Ireland. We look forward to lots more workshops with April in the future!”

Included in the evening are extensive notes, your own sourdough starter to take home, tastings and samples of food that is alive!

Tickets are €75pp, places can be booked online www.aprildanann.com