When I was little and living in Ukraine I remember having Kvass, a traditional drink from that area. I realized that there doesn’t seem to be anywhere to buy kvass in Perth, so being the amazing chef that I am I decided to make some of my own.
That amazing chef part - yeah, that was a lie. I don’t cook. Pretty much ever. Nevertheless, I found a well reviewed recipe for kvass and bought the necessary ingredients at Woolworths in the city on Friday:
Before I go on I guess I should talk a bit about what kvass actually is. Kvass is traditionally made from rye or black bread. It’s a refreshing drink served chilled and is often used as a base for other Ukrainian and Russian dishes like borscht and okroshka (mmm I remember eating okroshka at my extended family’s village in Russia. This is next on my list of things to make once I master kvass). Kvass is often a bit alcoholic (somewhere around 1.2% according to Wikipedia), but is classified as a non-alcoholic drink in Russia.
Making kvass (according to the recipe I’m using, anyway) will take about 1 week. I’ve already started and I have to say - so far it’s not looking very tasty. In fact, it’s resembling strange bodily fluids more than it is a refreshing drink. But hey, maybe the kvass goodness will come through by the end if I haven’t screwed it up too badly yet.
A friend of my boyfriend’s (who will be referred to as C on this blog…the boyfriend…not the friend) also said that yeast, one of the main ingredients of kvass, can be deadly if not used properly…so now instead of just hoping that my kvass doesn’t taste completely horrible I’m also hoping that it doesn’t kill anybody.
I will leave you with some photos of the process and hope that this does not put you off kvass for life. The following involve leaving stale rye bread in freshly-boiled water for 10 hours, straining the results by hand into another container, then re-pouring them into the rinsed main bowl, creating a yeast/water/sugar concoction, stirring it into the recently strained liquid along with a cup of sugar, and putting it back into the cupboard for 8-10 hours. Tomorrow the kvass-making continues with more straining, addition of raisins, and finally allowing the drink to sit in the cupboard for 4-5 days.