The Most Popular Fermented Food: Revealing the Favorites

Choose the fermented food you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Feb 19, 2024 06:04
Welcome to StrawPoll, where your opinion matters! Today, we're diving into the world of flavorful and gut-healthy fermented foods, and we need your help to rank the most popular ones. From tangy sauerkraut to spicy kimchi, creamy yogurt to bold kombucha, there's no shortage of options in this exciting culinary category. So it's time to let your taste buds do the talking and vote for your all-time favorite fermented food, or even suggest an undiscovered gem that deserves a spot on our list. Join the thousands of food enthusiasts participating in this mouthwatering ranking, and let's uncover the ultimate fermented champion together! Cast your vote now and stay tuned for the results!

What Is the Most Popular Fermented Food?

  1. 1
    Yogurt is one of the most popular fermented foods in the world. It is made by fermenting milk with bacteria, typically Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus. Yogurt is a rich source of probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that help improve gut health.
    Yogurt is a creamy and thick dairy product made by fermenting milk with the addition of live bacteria cultures. It has a smooth texture and a tangy taste, which varies depending on the type and ingredients used. Yogurt is often enjoyed as a snack or used as an ingredient in both sweet and savory dishes.
    • Calories: Varies depending on the brand and type of yogurt but generally ranges from 50-150 calories per serving.
    • Protein Content: Rich source of protein, typically containing 8-15 grams per serving.
    • Calcium: Provides important amounts of calcium for bone health, with around 15-25% of the recommended daily intake in each serving.
    • Vitamins and Minerals: Contains various vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins, potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium.
    • Probiotics: Contains beneficial bacteria (probiotics) that promote a healthy gut and aid in digestion.
  2. 2
    Kombucha is a fermented tea that is becoming increasingly popular due to its potential health benefits. It is made by fermenting sweetened tea with a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast). Kombucha is rich in probiotics and antioxidants, which help support overall health.
    Kombucha is a fermented tea beverage that is known for its slight fizziness and tangy taste. It is typically made by fermenting black or green tea with a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY). The fermentation process produces probiotics, organic acids, vitamins, and minerals, making kombucha a popular choice for health-conscious individuals.
    • Caffeine content: Varies depending on the type and brewing process, but usually contains less caffeine than traditional tea or coffee.
    • Acidity: Acidic due to the fermentation process, typically with a pH range of 2.5-3.5.
    • Flavor profile: Tangy and slightly sweet with a hint of vinegar-like taste.
    • Carbonation: Naturally effervescent, often described as having a light and bubbly texture.
    • Probiotic content: Contains live bacteria and yeasts that can have potential health benefits for gut health.
  3. 3
    Kimchi is a traditional Korean dish made from fermented vegetables, typically cabbage, radish, or cucumber. It is seasoned with spices and can be eaten as a side dish, a condiment, or as the main ingredient in a variety of Korean dishes. Kimchi is rich in probiotics, vitamins, and minerals, which help support gut health and overall well-being.
    Kimchi is a traditional Korean side dish made from fermented vegetables, most commonly napa cabbage and radishes. It has a spicy and tangy flavor and is a staple in Korean cuisine.
    • Regional variations: Over 200 types of kimchi, including baechu kimchi (cabbage kimchi), dongchimi (radish water kimchi), kkakdugi (cubed radish kimchi)
    • Ingredients: Napa cabbage, radishes, garlic, ginger, scallions, red chili pepper powder (gochugaru), salt, and fermented seafood (optional)
    • Fermentation period: Varies from a few days to several weeks
    • Preparation time: Around 4-6 hours
    • Health benefits: Rich in vitamins A and C, high in fiber, probiotic properties
  4. 4
    Sauerkraut is a German dish made from fermented cabbage. It is typically served as a side dish and is rich in probiotics, vitamins, and minerals. Sauerkraut is also a good source of fiber, which helps support digestive health.
    Sauerkraut is a traditional German condiment made from fermented cabbage. It is finely shredded and has a sour, tangy flavor. The process involves fermenting the cabbage by adding salt and allowing the natural bacteria to break down the sugars in the cabbage, resulting in a naturally sour taste. Sauerkraut is commonly served as a topping for hot dogs, sausages, and other savory dishes.
    • Origin: Germany
    • Main Ingredient: Cabbage
    • Preparation Method: Fermentation
    • Flavor: Sour, tangy
    • Texture: Finely shredded
  5. 5
    Miso is a traditional Japanese seasoning made from fermented soybeans. It is typically used to flavor soups, stews, and other dishes. Miso is rich in probiotics and antioxidants, which help support overall health.
    Miso is a traditional Japanese fermented food paste that is made by fermenting soybeans along with grains like rice or barley. It has a unique savory flavor and is commonly used as a seasoning in many Japanese dishes.
    • Origin: Japan
    • Ingredients: Soybeans, grains (such as rice or barley), salt, and koji (a specific type of mold)
    • Fermentation Process: Miso is made through a fermentation process that can last anywhere from a few months to several years.
    • Color: Miso can vary in color, ranging from light yellow to dark brown, depending on the ingredients and fermentation time.
    • Flavor: Miso has a rich, salty, and umami taste with a complex aroma.
  6. 6
    Tempeh is a traditional Indonesian food made from fermented soybeans. It is a rich source of protein, fiber, and probiotics, which help support gut health and overall well-being.
    Tempeh is a traditional Indonesian fermented food made from soybeans. It is a popular plant-based source of protein and has a unique nutty flavor and firm texture. The process of making tempeh involves inoculating cooked soybeans with a specific type of mold, usually Rhizopus oligosporus or Rhizopus oryzae. The mold binds the soybeans together, creating a solid cake-like product.
    • Main Ingredient: Soybeans
    • Fermentation Process: Inoculation with Rhizopus mold
    • Protein Content: Around 19-21 grams per 100 grams
    • Nutritional Profile: Rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals
    • Texture: Firm and slightly chewy
  7. 7
    Pickles are cucumbers that have been pickled in vinegar or brine. They are a popular snack and condiment and are rich in probiotics, which help support digestive health.
    Pickles are cucumbers that have been pickled in a brine solution, which is typically made of water, vinegar, salt, and various spices. The pickling process involves soaking the cucumbers in the brine for a period of time, allowing them to ferment and develop a tangy, sour flavor. They are commonly enjoyed as a crunchy and refreshing condiment or snack.
    • Type: Fermented food
    • Main Ingredient: Cucumbers
    • Brine Composition: Water, vinegar, salt, and spices
    • Flavor: Tangy and sour
    • Texture: Crunchy
  8. 8
    Kvass is a traditional Russian drink made from fermented bread. It is typically served as a refreshing beverage and is rich in probiotics, which help support overall health.
    Kvass is a traditional fermented beverage commonly consumed in Eastern Europe. It is made by fermenting rye bread, usually crusts or stale loaves, with water, sugar, and yeast. The fermentation process transforms the ingredients into a tangy, slightly carbonated drink with a low alcohol content. Kvass is known for its refreshing and thirst-quenching properties, making it a popular choice during hot summer months.
    • Ingredients: Rye bread, water, sugar, yeast
    • Fermentation Time: 1-3 days
    • Alcohol Content: Usually below 1%
    • Taste: Tangy, slightly sweet
    • Color: Dark brown or amber
  9. 9
    Natto is a traditional Japanese food made from fermented soybeans. It is typically served as a breakfast food and is rich in probiotics and vitamin K2, which help support bone health.
    Natto is a traditional Japanese fermented soybean dish that is known for its distinctive flavor and texture. It is made by fermenting soybeans with a specific strain of bacteria called Bacillus subtilis var. natto. The fermentation process breaks down the proteins in the soybeans and produces a sticky and gooey consistency with a strong aroma. It is often eaten with rice and serves as a popular breakfast dish in Japan.
    • Origin: Japan
    • Key Ingredients: Soybeans
    • Fermentation Bacteria: Bacillus subtilis var. natto
    • Texture: Sticky and gooey
    • Aroma: Strong
  10. 10
    Sourdough bread
    Tomascastelazo · CC BY-SA 4.0
    Sourdough bread is a type of bread that is made from naturally fermented dough. It is rich in probiotics and is easier to digest than other types of bread. Sourdough bread is also a good source of fiber, which helps support digestive health.
    Sourdough bread is a type of bread made from a naturally fermented dough, resulting in a distinct tangy flavor. It is typically made using a sourdough starter, which is a mixture of flour and water that captures wild yeast and lactic acid bacteria from the environment. This starter is then used to leaven the bread dough, providing a characteristic taste, texture, and aroma. Sourdough bread is often known for its crispy crust, chewy interior, and complex flavor profile.
    • Fermentation Time: Long fermentation process, typically ranging from several hours to several days.
    • Leavening Agent: Natural wild yeast and lactic acid bacteria present in the sourdough starter.
    • Ingredients: Flour, water, and salt. Additional ingredients like whole-grain flours or seeds can be incorporated for variations.
    • Tangy Flavor: Distinct sour taste resulting from the fermentation process.
    • Crust: Crunchy and well-browned crust due to the long baking time and presence of natural sugars in the dough.
    Sourdough bread in other rankings

Missing your favorite fermented food?


Ranking factors for popular fermented food

  1. Cultural and geographical popularity
    Consider the popularity of the fermented food within specific regions or cultures, as some fermented foods may be more popular in certain cultures than others.
  2. Health benefits
    Evaluate the fermented food based on the health benefits it offers, such as the presence of probiotics, vitamins, and minerals.
  3. Taste and flavor
    The taste and flavor profile of the fermented food are important factors in determining its popularity.
  4. Versatility and culinary use
    Consider the fermented food's versatility in recipes and its contribution to various dishes, as this may influence its popularity.
  5. Accessibility and availability
    Assess the fermented food's availability in grocery stores, local markets, and online retailers, as more accessible products are likely to be more popular.
  6. Shelf life and storage
    The shelf life of the fermented food and how well it can be stored can affect its popularity.
  7. Nutritional value
    Consider the nutritional content of the fermented food, such as its protein, fiber, and calorie content.
  8. Cost and affordability
    Evaluate the cost of the fermented food, as affordability can influence its popularity.
  9. Preparation and fermentation time
    The time it takes to prepare and ferment the food may impact its popularity.
  10. Trendiness or tradition
    Consider if the fermented food is part of a current food trend or widely appreciated due to its traditional use in certain cultures.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular fermented food. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or ferment is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 200 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each ferment once every 24 hours. The rank of each ferment is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most popular fermented food

Fermentation is one of the oldest forms of food preservation and has been used for thousands of years to create flavorful and nutritious foods. Fermented foods are made by adding beneficial bacteria or yeast to natural ingredients like vegetables, fruits, grains or dairy products. These microorganisms then break down the natural sugars in the food, producing lactic acid and other compounds that give fermented foods their unique taste and texture. Some of the most popular fermented foods include yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles, kombucha, miso and tempeh. Not only do these foods taste great, but they also offer a range of health benefits, including improved digestion, increased immunity and better nutrient absorption. So, what is the most popular fermented food? Let's find out!

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