Who is behind Mazaika?

 

My name is Anna Drozdova and I am the founder of Mazaika which was a result of my various interests and hobbies.

 

I grew up in Latvia during the Soviet Union times. After school, I graduated from the University in my hometown Daugavpils like all decent young people in those times. I have a Diploma in Teaching English as a Second Language. But after gaining some practical experience at school I realised that it was not for me. Then I worked in several places as a secretary, marketing officer and administrative assistant, which I quite enjoyed.

 

Then something profound happened to me. It was the birth of my son. And this is when my amazing journey into health and happiness began. I started researching different issues among which was food and realised that the way we used to grow, prepare and eat food during my childhood was very healthy and sustainable. One of the food preparation practices that we used was fermentation. I remember two major things we used to make that involved the traditional process of fermentation; it was sauerkraut and kombucha. So I started with sauerkraut, then proceeded to kombucha. I always found 'Western' bread strange to my taste and craved rye bread from home. I decided to make my own using the homegrown wild yeast instead of the store bought for tastier results and greater health benefits. I started baking bread using the sourdough starter that I made myself. Eventually, I was using the starter not only bread baking but also to make pancakes, pizza, pie crusts, croissants, sweet rolls, crackers, patties, tortillas, shortbreads and anything that required the use of flour even gluten-free. Basically, following the tradition that goes far back in time in so many cultures around the world, I stopped eating unfermented grains of any kind. At some point, I had so many recipes that I decided to put them all together in a book and call it Sourdough Goodness 1. While compiling the book I realised that I have too many recipes for one book and decided to write a series of cookbooks about baking and cooking with sourdough starter.

 

While enjoying the sourdough bread and other goods I continued to make sauerkraut and at the time bought a book by Sandor Katz 'Wild Fermentation' that completely changed the way I looked at fermented foods and beverages. I  microorganisms and their role in our life. I started talking passionately about fermented goods and their healing properties with my friends and gave a few fermentation lessons on how to make sauerkraut to some of them. This is how the idea of fermentation workshops was born. I also started to sell my sauerkraut and kombucha to friends and then later to a shop in East London called Food For All. My first proper workshop was for Made in Hackney. It was a free Sunday community workshop helping people learn how to cook their own food. Now I offer workshops from home and also run workshops in North London and Oxfordshire. I continue to brew all sorts of things in my kitchen and it resembles a science lab most of the times. Among some regular things I have fermenting: a variety of sauerkrauts, kimchi, salsa, carrots, and cauliflower (my son's favorite), sriracha, fruit chutney, sourdough bread, vinegar, kombucha, water and milk kefir. I am always looking out for new recipes inspirations and keep experimenting.realised that I can ferment and thus enhance the nutritional properties of almost anything including beans and meat and not just vegetables. So I started fermenting like crazy, experimenting a lot and started reading and researching the fermentation process from a scientific  and health points of view learning so many fascinating facts about fermentation, microbiome,

 

By this time you might be wondering why Mazaika. Well, among my hobbies there are also knitting, crocheting, personal care products making like creams, balms and deodorants and one of my latest passions is making soap from scratch using the cold process. I am thinking of incorporating those later into my business. There might be some other things I might pick up as part of this brand hence the name Mazaika that is derived from the English word mosaic and means something assembled out of small different-colored and different - shaped pieces. So am always on the lookout for new ideas and areas to expand my business and make it a true mosaic masterpiece.

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