Mother's Day

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

April 27, 2016

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. 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:

1. Mother Sauces

The essential sauces from which French cooking springs.


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

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!).

4. Sourdough Starter

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

5. Kefir Grains

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

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!

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I eat everything.