Monday, September 5, 2016

Off the Bookshelf: THE BIG BOOK OF KOMBUCHA, by Hannah Crum and Alex LaGory

A friend of mine jokes that when we made the shift from being readers to writers, we went from word addicts to pushers.

Well, that's starting to feel like the same situation when it comes to kombucha. What is it? Essentially, fermented tea -- but there's so much good stuff that enters the tea during the fermenting process, between the yeast and good bacteria.

I bought a couple bottles, after reading about kombucha when I proofread a book. Can you say YUM? Then I did some research and learned about all the health benefits. Hey, any excuse to start an addiction, y'know? Then the price started adding up, when I tried to make it a daily habit.

Then a few weeks ago, I took the big step -- I investigated making my own, instead of paying around $4 a bottle, for something I wanted to drink at least once a day for health benefits. That's when I found this book. Yeah, it is a BIG book, but it holds a whole lot more than just a guide for home brewing and flavoring.

The history and folklore is fascinating, along with the science, the steps to take, the options, the pitfalls to avoid, troubleshooting guide, and yeah, the recipes. Lots of recipes. There's more to kombucha than just drinking. There's vinegar, there's candy, salads, bread, jerky and beauty products and ... the list goes on. Considering all the uses for everything that goes into making kombucha, it's a truly self-sustaining and bio-friendly project. I just decanted and bottled my first batch, and got more going, and I'm looking forward to having a lot of fun experimenting with flavors and all the other options. I wouldn't be able to do it without the thorough education provided by this book.

Warning: Kombucha is addicting! Try it, and you'll be glad you did. Yeah, I'm a pusher now. Not that I'm going to willingly give away my precious few first bottles, but ... hmm, Christmas presents!

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