Friday, 14 October 2016

Honey Kvas Monastyrskiy

I’ve wanted to try mead for several year, despite the fact that I don’t like the taste of alcohol. I was able to try mulled wine in France, which to my surprise I really liked, and keep hoping that mead - another traditional medieval drink - will work for me.

The problem, of course, is few people make mead.

Going through the drinks section of my local grocery store I came across this:

Honey Kvas Monastyrskiy

For some reason, I got it into my head that this would be like mead.  It references honey - mead is made by fermenting honey - and it said ‘monastery’, and mead was traditionally made in monasteries.

So I bought it.

And it tastes pretty good! It’s got a bit of a malt flavour, but with a hint of honey. It’s sweet, but not overly so. I found the flavour complex and pleasant. It's also carbonated, which I liked. My husband had a hard time even sniffing the glass. I forced him to try a sip and that was enough for him! 

Looking it up online. Wikipedia had this to say:

Kvass is a traditional Slavic and Baltic fermented beverage commonly made from black or regular rye bread. The colour of the bread used contributes to the colour of the resulting drink. It is classified as a non-alcoholic drink by Russian standards, as the alcohol content from fermentation is typically low (0.5–1.0%). It may be flavoured with fruits such as strawberries and raisins, or with herbs such as mint.

Apparently, Kvass is easy to brew, requiring little more than bread and yeast, so it has a history as a drink for peasants.

Why do I mention this on my blog? World-building. What people eat and drink has a lot to say about their social class, wealth, local produce, etc. Everything is interconnected. Similarly, though a lot of fantasy characters travel a lot it’s rare for them to try new foods, new drinks, new spices, etc. People become habituated to their local diet, so when introduced to new tastes, they generally comment on it. Is their usual diet spicy or bland? Do they have a variety of spices to pick from (meaning they’re rich or live in a country that grows the spices) or are they dependent on herbs they can grow or collect themselves?

I live in a city with an increasingly diverse population, so my local grocery store has started stocking more varied foods. I love it, as it gives me the chance to learn more about the world - and what people eat and drink - without having to travel to those places (not that I’d be adverse to going most places, but time and money aren’t infinite).

No comments: