What is Russian Kvas?
The first time I tasted Kvas (Квас) was in 2008 when I visited Russia for the first time. I can describe it best by saying that it is a fizzy, brown, non-alcoholic drink that is made from bread. This I didn’t know at the time.
[dropcap bg=”#2da5da” color=”#ffffff”]A[/dropcap]ndrey often mentions Kvas and how much he misses it. I remembered the taste very well but it took some time to get used to. I was not surprised at all when his family asked if we wanted Kvac with our meal. Russians in general do not like to drink Coca-Cola and Kvas is the preferred drink.
I have mentioned previously that I did not know that it was made from bread. Kvac is a fermented beverage made from stale dark, sour dough rye bread. I decided to read more about this very popular drink. The information was astounding.
Kvac origin and interesting facts.
Kvac originated before beer! Yes, it was first made 50 centuries ago…unbelievable! Kvas was first mentioned in the Russian Chronicles (Russia’s oldest known written text) in 989 when Prince Vladimir converted his subjects to Christianity. He was quoted saying:”Food, honey, and Kvac be distributed to the people.”
Some say the drink was invented by mistake. According to one legend, a bag of grain got wet and the grain started to grow. A farmer decided to save the product and make flour out of it. He couldn’t use it to make bread and instead, invented malt. He added some water, let the liquid ferment and created the first ever kvas.
Kvac has a lot of nutritional properties, full of Vitamin B, a good appetizer and a healthy source of energy. It is a very popular drink among sportsmen and woman. It is a national drink enjoyed by many people and considered to be just as popular as Vodka.
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Health Benefits of Kvas.
[list icon=”moon-checkbox” color=”#027a22″]Enhance your immune system.[/list]
[list icon=”moon-checkbox” color=”#027a22″]Prevent infections after surgery.[/list]
[list icon=”moon-checkbox” color=”#027a22″]Treat acute and chronic diarrhea.[/list]
[list icon=”moon-checkbox” color=”#027a22″]Relieve inflammatory bowel disease.[/list]
[list icon=”moon-checkbox” color=”#027a22″]Treat irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).[/list]
[list icon=”moon-checkbox” color=”#027a22″]Protect against cancer development and progression.[/list]
While we were driving in the bus one afternoon I saw a huge metal container with Квас written on it. I asked Andrey what it was doing there and he said that normal. Street vendors sell Kvas from a tap – bring your bottle and fill up.
There are many different products on the market and not all of them taste the same. It is very easy to spot a not so good Kvas – taste it! Also very important: Traditional Kvas has a shelf live of a week at room temperature and 3 weeks in the fridge. If you can keep it for longer in the fridge then it is not traditional Russian Kvas and preservatives had been added.
For now we are enjoying Kvas with our meals…we will not be able to find it when we are back in Argentina.