Voices From Russia, Too

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

A Multimedia Presentation. 8 June 2011. Beat the Heat the Russian Way! DRINK KVASS! To Your Health!

Mighty Kvass… THE millennial Russian thirst-quencher… would I steer you wrong? Cross my heart and hope to die! Of course, this is a satirical takeoff on Viktor Vasnetsov‘s The Three Bogatyri (a famous Russian painting of the Silver Age). 

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RT on kvass

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Russian TV commercial for kvass

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RT on Russian monastery kvass…

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Ukrainian TV commercial for kvass…

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Kvass… the uncola… drink Nikola!

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Ukrainian TV commercial for kvass

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RT on Coca Cola kvass venture…

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Here’s a mug of kvass along with a glass of kefir (cultured milk), a cup of chilled borshch, with kapusta (sauerkraut), a kotlet (meat patty), and a pickle on the plate (I’d put some horseradish cream on the kotlet to spice it up)… looks like “Good Eats” for the summertime, no?

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“Just what the bloody hell is kvass?” Thanks for asking… it’s one of God’s best little miracles in the food n’ drink department. For more than a millennium, kvass has been THE Russian national tipple. The town of Zvenigorod, west of Moscow, is known for its authentic preservative-free kvass, which is brewed in the basement of the local Orthodox monastery. It can be either sweet or picquant, flavoured with berries, fruit, or honey. Kvass is produced by fermentation, using an infusion of bread, sugar, water, yeast, and malt. Mostly, kvass is served unfiltered, with the yeast still in it, which contributes to its unique flavour, as well as giving it a high vitamin B content. It has a pleasant refreshing taste, pumps up your metabolism, and it has beneficial effects for your cardiovascular system. Kvass tastes great (could 140 million Russkies be WRONG?); besides that, it’s a great thirst quencher thanks to its lactic and acetic acid content (which also makes it the IDEAL “morning after” cure after a “big night”, right up there with pickle juice). If you drink kvass, you won’t have to worry about vitamin deficiency; it’ll give you plenty of pep, too (I won’t make any claims concerning your love life… you’re on your own in that department, dear). On top of it all, it’s an excellent antioxidant; in the old days, they gave it to patients in military hospitals, for kvass aids digestion due to its carbon dioxide content. Kvass is also a foundation for a series of chilled Russian soups for the summertime (such as Okroshka, a chilled beet soup). It’s mildly alcoholic… but the alcohol content isn’t over 1.2 percent (the usual content is from 0.5 to 1.0 percent)… hey, kids can drink that!

Due to recent immigration, kvass is available in many American and Canadian urban areas at stores specialising in Eastern European food products… pick up some kabanosa, smoked fish, marinated mushrooms, black bread, pickles, and horseradish whilst you’re there… now, THAT’S a picnic!

Квасьте на здоровье! Drink kvass… pump up your health (amongst other things)!

WARNING:

We Russians LOVE kvass and can’t get enough of it in the summer… but for many Westerners, it’s an “acquired taste”… don’t know why that’s so, but that’s what’s what, I’m afraid, ergo, the word of advice. Once you do acquire the taste, though, you can’t get enough of it in the hot weather…

BMD

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