AUSTIN, Texas -- Wine, bread, pickles, kombucha, mead... what do they all have in common?
They must undergo the process of fermentation in order to become tasty treats everyone loves.
It takes time and patience - and the rewards prove the best things come to those who wait.
At the Austin Fermentation Festival, it's more than good eats - it is also a chance to learn more about the process.
Hannah Crum set up a sort of "petting zoo" at her booth, where visitors got in close contact with how kombucha is made.
"It gives them a chance to kind of take the fear out and demystify," Crum said.
Fermentation involves the use of probiotics and time to stimulate bacterial growth. It sounds gross, but vendors like Crum want people to know they're not all bad.
"It's really terrific to reunite people with their bacteria buddies. This is what helps keep us strong; this helps boost our immunity and this is what humans have consumed for all of time," Crum said.
Atendees can attest to that.
"I was kind of sick earlier this year and I started eating sauerkraut and started feeling so much better," said Cameron Brady.
The festival brings a new insight to "germ warfare," as Crum explained.
"We need people to understand that bacteria are our friends. That just helps us from a health perspective... and it really empowers people to get back to their kitchens and make food for themselves," she said.
Her work helps inspire both veterans and first-time festival attendees to add a little "culture" to their menus - after all, like anything else at this festival, food gets better with time.