I've heard often about kombucha and even tried it twice, but I never felt so tempted to make it part of my food&drink rituals. I don't like the taste of it, because I was thinking purely in terms of personal taste, but after reading this interesting book by Hannah Crum and Alex LaGory about everything related to this fashionable fermented tea, it might be because my taste is altered by different sugar-based drinks I am used with. Which might be partially true...
The Big Book of Kombucha is besides is rich information about the fermented tea - including how to make your own and very specific but simply written details about how to do the brewing and the flavoring - also an amazing example about how to write about food and drinks, especially those extraneous to the Western everyday eating habits. One of my favorite so far is the part dedicated to debunking the everyday myths and superstitions, plus the dictionary and the rich historical background of the drink.
For those not familiar with this drink, '(...) kombucha is the most versatile ferment in the world. Consumed at all times of the day, it can be brewed as sweet or sour as desired, is equally delicious with savory flavorings and sweet ones, and pairs just as well with a salty slice of pizza as with a chunk of chocolate. In many homes around the world, it replaces sodas, carbonated waters, alcohol and other store-brought drinks with an inexpensive, home made option'. A healthy addition to any diet - raw, vegetarian, vegan, paleo or kosher, among others - 'it gives the body the opportunity to return to balance so that the immunity and other physiological systems function more efficiently'. Among the tested health belefits are: healthy lived function, rebalance of the homeostasis in the body, boasts metabolism, boasts energy, relieves headaches and migraine, improves eyesights, reduces occurence and size of kidney stones, heals eczema, prevents arteriosclerosis, lowers glucose levels, speeds healing of ulcers.
What me, and I bet some of you too, did not know about kombucha (especially the kombucha vinegar variant), is that it can be used as ingredient to face masks or facial toners, or as a sunburn relief spray or ingredient part of different recipes for cinnamon rolls, sordough bread or mustard.
Although this book did not convince me to start using kombucha, at least brought me a rich depository of information about it and made me more aware about this special ingredient.
Strongly recommended to any lover of good foodie books!