Viability and Spoilage Issues
Well, actually, it depends. But, if stored properly, fermented foods can last indefinitely, as confirmed by the USDA, on page 7, in a 1917 "Farmer's Bulletin." More recently, the USDA states that fermented foods can last at least a year, even without refrigeration (see section 14.3.1)--a fact that we could have garnered from historical evidence, which is discussed below. Seems like the USDA is getting a bit more cautious in its old age, but I'm goin' with "indefinitely." Of course, how does a fermented food not get eaten within a year!? Oh. I actually have a couple examples below. One example has to do with Captain James Cook!