FRUIT, ESPECIALLY SOFT FRUIT, has a short shelf life at room temperature. Even in the refrigerator, it loses its appeal pretty quickly.

And when we grow it, soft fruit has the infuriating habit of becoming ripe all at once. By the end of summer, we may become blasé about perfectly ripe peaches, but come February, we may crave them. And the peaches in the supermarket will probably not be as good as the ones we found at the farmers’ market in the summer.

FERMENTING FRUIT ALLOWS us to preserve the summer’s bounty until a time when we can appreciate it again. Fermentation also allows us to develop sweet-and-sour ...

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