Where to Find Fermentation Cultures in Montreal?

Good news, readers!  After many hours of fruitless google searching, I have finally stumbled upon a store which sells Tempeh Tempeh Starter and Kefir Grainsspores and Kefir grains in Montreal:  MycoBoutique.  Both water and milk Kefir grains are available.  I decided to go with the water grains, since I’m interested in doing both dairy and non-dairy ferments, and from what I’ve read it is fairly easy to convert the grains from one medium to another.  The brand they are selling is Cultures for Health. Since the the labels on the products are entirely in English, I’m guessing that selling these products here is not exactly permis, so please, refrain from telling any buddies you may or may not have at the Office about this. Though Mycoboutique’s prices for these products are higher than prices on the Cultures for Health website, when you factor in the exchange rate, shipping cost, and the opportunity to avoid playing russian roulette with customs and ridiculously expensive brokerage fees, I think you’ll find the markup reasonable.

They also carry a product called VitalCâlin which contains a culture of Aspergillus oryzae…which, though it is not being marketed as such, can likely be used to make koji (a necessity if you want to try making miso or sake at home). Though koji is defined on Wikipedia as simply ‘the common name of the fungus Aspergillus oryzae’, a recipe that calls for koji usually refers to rice that has been inoculated with the fungus. A spore starter which consisted of the spores on rice flour, on the other hand, is usually referred to as koji-kin.

VitalCal is made by a Quebec company, Aliments Massawippi who specializes in organic miso. Considering the fact that they’ve been around since 1999, I don’t understand why I’ve never heard of them before! I’ll be on the lookout for their products in the future, though. There’s a list of sales points on their web site for anyone who’s interested…unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to include any stores in Verdun!

Anyway…I’m currently incubating my first batch of Tempeh…I’ll let you guys know how it goes.

Happy fermenting!


  1. […] note: I have discovered a source for Kefir grains in Montreal!  See this post for […]

  2. […] finding a source for Tempeh starter recently, I had the opportunity to try making Tempeh.  I used the recipe from Sandor Ellix Katz’s […]

  3. Thank you! So much!!!

  4. Hello, have you found other places? Unfortunately, there is way too much markup ($) for me to buy from MycoBoutique. For example, 13$ for 7g of tempeh starter is a complete rip off. Moreover, they are selling branded product (e.g.: Cultures for Health) which has already been marked up significantly. I don’t blame them (rarity is defining the price), but I would love to find a reputable seller that provides an unbranded product at wholesale.

    1. Hi Neil, no haven’t found any other sources for starters in Montreal. I do know someone who ordered some online. He ordered a large quantity, and though it was held up at customs, I believe, he did get it eventually. If you like, I can ask him for more details. Otherwise, good luck, and be sure to let me know if you find another source.

  5. I’ve made my tempeh from starter that a local Indonesia store sells.

    1. That’s great, Anita. Do you live in Indonesia, then?

  6. I make my tempeh from a starter that a local Indonesian store sells.


  7. […] finding a source for Tempeh starter recently, I had the opportunity to try making Tempeh.  I used the recipe from Sandor Ellix Katz’s book, […]

  8. […] note: I have discovered a source for Kefir grains in Montreal!  See this post for […]

  9. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Lian Verhoef · · Reply

    Thank you for referring to the Mycoboutique!
    We also have now our home grown Milk-Kefir in stock!
    Happy Fermenting,

    1. That’s great, Lian! I’ll be sure to check it out!

  11. Concerning the miso, VitalKal and products from Aliments Massawippi in or near Verdun, you may try :
    IGA Westmount (Place Alexis-Nihon)
    À Votre Santé
    (514) 482-8233
    Coop La Maison Verte
    514 489 8000
    (514) 486-2247
    Les Douceurs du Marché
    (514) 939-3902

    1. At the mycoboutique you can also find koji’s and tempeh starters, as well cultures for cheeses yogurts ( vegan and traditional)

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