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5 (Food) Mothers to Love on Mother's Day

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Every time you've dressed lettuce in a red wine vinaigrette, toasted a slice of sourdough, or poured kefir over your granola, a mother was behind it. Not your mother, but a mother.

Hey, mama.
Hey, mama. Photo by Bobbi Lin

That funky bacterial thing used to make red wine vinegar, sourdough starters, kefir grains? They're all called mothers because they "give birth" to foods we love. So while you're thanking the heavens for your own mom this Mother's Day, give a little love to these mamas. They may not send you care packages, give you advice, or call you on your birthday, but they will feed you:

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1. Mother Sauces

The essential sauces from which French cooking springs.

The Five Mother Sauces Every Cook Should Know
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The Five Mother Sauces Every Cook Should Know

2. SCOBY

The greyish-white mass of yeast and bacteria that is the "mother" of the fermented tea kombucha.

My Adventures in Brewing Kombucha (& How You Can Do It, Too)
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My Adventures in Brewing Kombucha (& How You Can Do It, Too)

3. Vinegar Mother

A gelatinous, slimy substance made from cellulose and acetic acid bacteria that's necessary for making vinegar from alcohol (like red wine vinegar!).

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Red Wine Vinegar Made at Home
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Red Wine Vinegar Made at Home

4. Sourdough Starter

A mixture of flour and water that's been fermented by airborne yeast, and is the mother of sourdough breads.

The Trials and Tales of Your Sourdough Starters
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The Trials and Tales of Your Sourdough Starters

5. Kefir Grains

A yeast and bacterial fermentation mother that is used to make kefir, a slightly fermented dairy drink.

How to Make Kefir at Home
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How to Make Kefir at Home

6. Black Eyed Peas

Hey, Mama...

What are some of your favorite Mothers? (Mother Nature? Mother Goose? All fair game.) Tell us in the comments below!

Tags: mother's day, mother sauces