Hi there, and welcome!
We are Mabi, Mabel, and Karla, and we’re the Starter Sisters. Mabi and Mabel are biological sisters, and Karla is their long-time friend and whom they consider a sister at heart. All three live in different cities in Metro Manila and Australia, but find themselves connected by fermentation.
Mabi is a writer and vegan cook, who teaches plant-based fermentation, and who set up Me & My Veg Mouth with Karla. A certified plant-based cook, Karla hopes to contribute to changing the perception that eating vegetables is boring and expensive. Mabel is a former Operations lead of a startup, a writer, illustrator, and an omni mom helping her family eat healthier.
We’re here to create a space that celebrates fermenting in the Philippines. And whether you’re a fermentation beginner or enthusiast, we’re glad you’re here, too.
23℃ is not hot
There are a lot of fermentation resources online and we’ve learned a lot from them.
But they are mostly done in temperate parts of the world (23°C is not warm). What takes three weeks there takes three days here. Even less.
We would adjust our fermentation duration due to the heat and humidity, switch to familiar and more accessible ingredients, scour retailers for non-iodized salt to use and comb through our kitchen cabinets for non-reactive stuff to keep things submerged and airlocked.
We’ve been there. And we’re with you.
We’ll share techniques, lessons, and resources that helped us start fermenting.
We’ll explore Pinoy plant-based ferments–as an agricultural country, we have a lot!–and try those of other countries using what’s local, seasonal, and accessible.
We’ll share vegan applications for your ferments, and show you ways to enjoy them with your favorite dishes and drinks–vegan or omni, savory or sweet–so you can have it daily to reap its benefits.
And because we love learning, once in a while we’ll try a challenging ferment. (Don’t worry, it’s the wait that’s challenging. The microbes will do the hard work.)
You can keep a fermentation habit going without going mad.
We’re based in one of the biggest and more chaotic megacities in the world, Metro Manila. Much as we love our city, it can get too much. Some days we’re up to our eyeballs on never-ending stimuli.
Fermentation has become a way for us to slow down and shut out the excess. To relearn the pleasure of attentiveness and singular focus.
Because a ferment is handmade, it’s a chance for us to connect to our senses. Making ferments, we find ourselves opening up to mindfulness.
There’s a lot of anxiety around microorganisms in ferments, but fermentation actually teaches us to pay attention to and trust what we see, what we smell, taste, even hear (yes, those air bubbles make a sound).
In Starter Sisters, we celebrate all these as necessary pleasures. We like making things with our hands, and we enjoy seeing other people’s creativity flourish.
We would love to see what you make!
Ready to start your fermentation journey?