Kvas Label from Serbia from Petrovic
I wrote yesterday about Cyndi trying Kvas for the first time. Today, she pointed out that it looked like she was drinking beer and that I had better write something about it. No, Cyndi hasn't turned into an alcoholic (nor have I). No, we don't drink alcohol...or beer (Serbs seem to think of Alcoholic drinks only being hard liquor....for the most part, they don't seem to lump beer into that category.). Firstly, our company forbids it and, secondly, we don't see how that honors Christ. Moving on....
I can't really describe how it tastes. Kind of malty. Kinda like a flat pop but with a bit of carbonation left. Kida heavy. Kinda bready. It tastes about like it looks...very dark brown...darker than the bear in the picture above. Almost black. It has tons of vitamins and most people drink it like a vitamin supplement. In fact, according to this article, the Russians--it's a Russian drink originally--used it exactly that way. They would drink it in the winter when they couldn't get sufficient vitamins from their diet.
How does kvas compare with pop? Well, let me say that I doubt in the US it will be a hit. Well, let me take that back...perhaps it will be a hit with the healthfood nuts (the same people who brew twigs and dirt as some kind of coffee substitute). However, with the huge sweet-tooth we have in the US, I doubt it will go anywhere. But, this article talks about how the makers of Kvas made a comeback after the fall of the Soviet Union.
Here in Serbia, we have 1 choice for kvas. However, according to the Wikipiedia article on Kvas, in Ukrane, they sell the stuff out of water buffalo type containers. We have some friends there who have tried it and said they like it (although one of them falls into the health-food nut category. I won't mention names, but they know who they are.). They tell us that there is a wide range of kinds and flavors (probabaly depending on who made it, when, how they like it, what they think it should be like, etc....
Want to try your hand at making kvas. Here's a recipe I found online. I don't know what it tastes like or anything about it. But, feel free to give it a go if you want to try it.
Full-disclosure: I know that the wikipedia article says that kvas has alcohol. If you do a generic search for kvas on the internet, you'll find about 1/2 of the articles saying it does...and 1/2 saying it doesn't. Our supervisors have told us that it does not...and, everyone I've talked to here says it is alcohol free. (Note from Cyndi...I just double-checked the label on the brand available here and it says "bezalkoholno"-which means without alcohol.) Now, I understand that isn't a fool-proof test--see the discussion of the local view on beer above. This actually proposes an interesting question: should we or shouldn't we drink kvas. What do you think? Leave a comment and we'll see where it goes. Right now, I'm leaning towards the there's nothing wrong with it end of the spectrum; however, for anyone that knows me knows I am consistant. What position do you think I ought to take on kvas? Why?