Over the weekend, Microkhan had the enormous pleasure of re-watching Werner Herzog’s Fitzcarraldo, about a daft German’s attempt to build an opera house in early 20th-century Iquitos. Without giving too much away, the quest brings him in contact with an Amazonian tribe that prepares chicha the old-fashioned way: By balling up the maize in their mouths, and letting their saliva do the fermenting.
Upon seeing this scene, Microkhan wondered how such a thing could be possible. Fortunately, the good folks over at the Journal of Dental Research have the knowledge. Suffice to say that you can ferment pretty much anything with spit, from chocolate cookies to bananas. Sounds yucky, perhaps, but if given a choice between saliva-fermented Saltines or Budweiser Chelada, we’d definitely opt for the former.