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Fermenting Hacks: 5 BEST Substitutes for Fermento

Alright, picture this: You’re elbow deep in cabbage, ready to whip up a batch of sauerkraut that’ll knock your socks off.

But oh snap, you’ve run out of Fermento! Before you toss your veggies aside in a pickling pickle, hold up.

We’ve got you covered with five rockstar alternatives that’ll keep those fermentation vibes flowing.

This isn’t just about making do; it’s about discovering new flavors that’ll make your fermented goodies the talk of the town.

Roll up your sleeves, because we’re about to get all kinds of creative with these substitutes. Trust me, your ferments are about to level up big time!

The 5 BEST Substitutes for Fermento

For those who might have difficulty obtaining fermento or are looking for a healthy alternative to use in their cooking, there are several great substitutes available.

Here is our list of the five best substitutes for fermento:

SubstituteKey CharacteristicsSubstitute Ratio
KefirTangy and slightly fizzy, contains active cultures for fermentation1 cup kefir = 1 packet of Fermento
Citric AcidTangy and tart flavor, enhances acidity in fermented recipes1 teaspoon citric acid = 1 packet of Fermento
Prague Powder Number 1Contains sodium nitrite, used for curing and flavoring meatsNot recommended as a direct substitute for Fermento
YogurtTangy and creamy, contains live cultures for fermentation1 cup yogurt = 1 packet of Fermento
Buttermilk PowderTangy and slightly creamy, adds flavor and acidity to recipes1 tablespoon buttermilk powder = 1 packet of Fermento

Now, let’s dive into each substitute in more detail:

1 – Kefir

Kefir is an ancient fermented dairy food full of probiotic benefits – and you can use it to ferment semi-dry cured sausages instead of Fermento starter culture.

Although the taste and texture of your resulting sausage may differ slightly, the method remains largely the same.

To begin, start by measuring out one tablespoon of kefir grains per pound of meat beforehand, grating it into a mixture with salt and other spices.

Then knead this mixture together until it coheres in a paste-like form, more commonly known as meat emulsion.

From there, wrap it around a sausage stuffer tube, leaving only one end open, then hang them up to cure at room temperature for several days.

And that’s all there is to it.

So why not switch things up this time and give kefir a go? You might be surprised by how delicious your next batch of semi-dry cured sausages ends up being.

2 – Citric Acid

Citric acid, an organic compound typically found in citrus fruits and their juices, is used as a preservative and flavor enhancer for many processed foods.

It can also be used to replace the traditional starter culture called Fermento in the process of fermenting semi-dry cured sausages.

While citric acid does not provide the same bacteria composition required for dry-cured sausage processes, it can successfully add acidity and improve the shelf life of products.

The taste of citric acid is slightly sour when added at low concentrations, while higher concentrations result in a sweeter taste with a slight hint of tartness; depending on what you’re using it for, this can have various culinary applications.

Therefore if Fermento is unavailable to you, Citric acid can be substituted without drastically changing the taste or quality of your food.

3 – Prague Powder Number 1

Making cured sausages entails a great deal of hard work, with Prague Powder Number 1 being at the center.

This curing agent, just as its many nicknames suggest — for instance, Instacure or Pink Curing Salt Number 1 — contains sodium nitrate and is used to suppress the growth of undesirable bacteria while rendering these cured goods their distinct flavor.

On the taste side, Fermento makes sausage-making products that impart unmistakable flavors.

Brussels salami, French saucisson, and Italian salami all boast distinct flavors that owe much in part to Fermento.

Even more exciting is that these sausages can be successfully made with Prague Powder Number 1 and still experience the same flavor profiles.

Therefore, if you’re looking for a Fermento substitute that will provide you with the same flavor properties, look no further than Prague Powder Number 1.

4 – Yogurt

Yogurt is one of the most common fermented dairy products and it has been enjoyed as a snack, condiment, or part of a meal since ancient times.

It is made by adding bacteria, usually in the form of yogurt cultures, to the heated milk and allowing it to do its work.

The bacteria feed on the sugar in the milk, causing it to ferment and release lactic acid, which then causes the proteins in the liquid to coagulate into solid particles forming what we know as yogurt.

It has a thick texture with a slightly acidic taste that can vary from mild to strong depending on how long it is allowed to ferment.

Although yogurt is not generally used as a substitute for Fermento in semi-dry cured sausages, it can be added as an ingredient during preparation to achieve similar effects.

In these cases, it is important to make sure that you add only pasteurized yogurt so as not to risk contaminating your delicious sausage.

5 – Buttermilk Powder

Buttermilk powder is an essential ingredient when it comes to making semi-dry cured sausages.

It’s easy to substitute for Fermento, a starter culture commonly used for this purpose, to get the same results: just combine one part buttermilk powder and three parts salt.

The result is a pleasant tangy taste that is sure to make any sausage recipe a hit.

Not only will the sausage take on those delicious flavors, but it will also store much longer than sausages prepared with Fermento or other curing agents due to its concentration of lactic acid bacteria.

So don’t let yourself be intimidated by the idea of fermenting semi-dry cured sausages — just use buttermilk powder instead.

The 5 BEST Substitutes for Fermento

Fermento adds a unique tanginess to recipes, but if you're out, fear not! Here are five top substitutes that will impart similar flavors and textures to your dishes.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 1 Serving


  • Kefir
  • Citric Acid
  • Prague Powder Number 1
  • Yogurt
  • Buttermilk Powder


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
Keyword Substitutes for Fermento
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