Friday, May 18, 2007

Kvas

A fun tidbit from Russia that I forgot to mention is Kvas. I first became fascinated with “the Coke of Communism” after reading a New York Times article about it in 2003. It’s a dark drink made from fermenting bread and it used to be sold out tanker trucks during the summer in Russia. Most of the things I’ve read about it say it is slightly alcoholic, but one Russian woman told me it wasn’t and was even her boyfriend’s favorite thing to drink while driving (perhaps that explains my crazy taxi ride to the airport.)

Anyway, I finally got to try kvas last week. My Russian friends told me it was an acquired taste so I might not like it, but I thought it was great! It smells a bit like soy sauce and tastes a bit salty initially, but finishes sweet. It was also better the colder it was!

I didn’t bring any back, but apparently it is widely available in Brighton Beach in Brooklyn (the Russian enclave in the city.)

Interestingly, I found an article online, which said that Coke is in talks with beverage companies in Moscow to start bottling the drink. The article says that "Kvas can contain berries, fruit or birch sap, has been supped by peasants since the middle ages. Until the end of the 1980s it was sold flat and unfiltered but Russian soft drink manufacturers were forced to produce a carbonated version to compete with the influx of fizzy western drinks after the fall of the Soviet Union."

(I, of course, took a picture of this wonderful drink and will post it later today.)

2 Comments:

Anonymous Daniel said...

Kvas, eh? My favorite national obsession drink is Rivella from Switzerland. It's like Coke there too and its made from whey - I thought it was fermented, but it may not be. It's delicious . . . but I have no idea where to find it in NY.

1:02 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

you need to Google it:-) Wanna come on a my Brighton Beach adventure?

8:37 PM  

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