Joni Sare, cooking instructor

Sour foods to use in a paleo diet

Adding a bit of sour in a dish will add to its complexity, adult savviness and lasting memories.

When it comes to paleo, and I mean the real deal, there’s nothing much else to use except for what you can pick from a tree. So, here’s a list of pick-able sour foods, and a list of not-so-paleo foods.

Sour taste comes from acidic flavors

  • lemons
  • limes
  • oranges
  • grapefruit
  • kumquats
  • grapes
  • tamarind

TIP: any sweet flavor added to the dish will reduce the sour punch, so — extracted citrus juice is more sweet, less sour … and… citrus pulp and rind will have more sour (the rind having more bitter, as well).


  • Preserved lemons (uses high amounts of salt, which would not be considered paleo)
  • Mock preserved lemons, the fastest making preserved lemons, ever. Click here to learn how to make’m.





Fermented Foods

Fermented foods would require some knowledge of preservation and¬†microorganisms, which the paleo folk just didn’t have. These around-the-world foods include:

  • vinegar
  • pickles
  • wine
  • sauerkraut
  • kimchi
  • soy sauce
  • fish sauce
  • shrimp paste
  • dairy foods such as:
    • yogurt
    • kefir
    • sour cream
    • creme fraiche
    • cottage cheese
    • buttermilk
  • bread (sourdough)
  • fish (lutefisk)
  • natto (fermented soy bean)
  • poi (taro root)
  • kanga pirau (corn)


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