Jacqueline Renée Cohen

Where were you born? New York, USA

Where else have you lived? England, Turkey, Taiwan, Nepal, Beijing and Hong Kong

How long have you been in Hong Kong? Around 20 years, minus 4 years in Beijing

Which part of Hong Kong do you live in?  In a small village near the Big Buddha on Lantau Island

Children and ages?  I have a 10-year-old boy and a 9-year-old girl. They are 14 months apart and both were born in Hong Kong. They attend a local Cantonese medium primary school.

Are you working in Hong Kong?  What do you do? I left the business world to become the primary caregiver for my two children. I now also have a one-mama business, called LantauMama, is all about fermenting drinks and foods such as kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, pickles, carrots, fruits, salsa, ketchup and much more! I empower and give people confidence to ferment at home through teaching classes on kefir, kombucha, fermenting vegetables, dehydrating and other classes. Additionally, I write for local magazines and consult with restaurants on integrating fermenting into their menus.

LantauMama also helps to ‘Make Healthy Living Accessible’ through offering top of the line products such as the Vitamix blender and Excalibur dehydrator at a discount in Hong Kong.
 You can find me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as LantauMama.

What exactly is fermenting?  And why should why be doing it?  Fermentation is “the transformation of food by various bacteria, fungi, and the enzymes they produce.” (Sandor Katz, The Art of Fermentation)  This transformation makes the food more nutritious, easier to digest, and often tastier too!

Eating fermented foods is both delicious and good for us.  We have over 100 trillion bacteria in our gut, in fact, there are more bacteria than cells in our body, this is part of our microbiome.  They contribute to our digestion and also influence chronic ailments, mood, food cravings and more. Eating fermented foods may contribute to a healthier microbiome.

From a taste perspective, fermenting opens up a world of flavors which capture the elusive umami taste we all instinctively crave.  Common fermented foods include: water kefir, milk kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, pickles, dilly beans, kimchi, miso, vinegars, etc.

Most of all, fermenting is fun!

What time of day do you check Hong Kong Moms? I usually check in the morning; it is a great resource to find out what is going on in Hong Kong.

What posts do you comment on and why?  I try to only comment when I can be helpful. My areas of expertise and interest include healthy lifestyle topics, living on Lantau, local Cantonese medium schools, Niseko where we have a house, as well as some random topics that come from living in Hong Kong for so many years.

What is the best thing you have learned from Hong Kong Moms?  Hong Kong Moms makes me feel connected to so many amazing people, as well as to events in the city.  I would never know about some of the awesome markets, fairs, local HK businesses, specialty shops, charity needs without Hong Kong Moms. It is also wonderful to learn about and support other small Hong Kong Mom run businesses. There are many inspiring people on Hong Kong Moms.  It goes without saying, all the help for people finding lost phones, bags and violins is part of the magic of Hong Kong Moms.

Does anyone ever recognize you or your name from Hong Kong Moms?  Yes, this has happened a few times. Once I received a PM (private message) after leaving a supermarket that said, “Were you just in Taste?’ I was so surprised, so I went back to meet the person.  She recognized me from Hong Kong Moms!

Have you met any friends through Hong Kong Moms?  Absolutely. One of the realities of modern day life is that friendships can start on social media and move to ‘real life’.

Which Hong Kong Mom would you like you to see featured next? 
Laura Paul, the founder of Healthy Living Asia has been such a blessing to so many individuals and families struggling with or wanting to learn more about health issues in Hong Kong.  What people may not know is she is also the founder of the Hong Kong Gifted Alliance, a support group for families of highly-able children.

Nikki Boot (Nik Ki on Hong Kong Moms) founder of DB Mothers and Friends, which collects and distributes unwanted furniture, clothing and items to disadvantaged families in Hong Kong.  She is a complete Hong Kong Hero and a super star Hong Kong Mom!

* Learn more about fermenting in a future article here by Hong Kong’s own fermenting mama, LantauMama.

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