What is Kombucha?
Posted in Nourishment for the Body » Drink It on Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Jin, my acupuncturist, told me about Kombucha (available at Whole Foods).  She's a huge proponent of fermented foods....and even asked me to spend a Friday night at a Fermented Food Cooking Class     I've never seen anyone drink one....until our Kelly Clarkson MIXperience at HUB51.  Landon Pigg opened for Kelly and as Eric & I were waiting backstage, I noticed Landon was drinking a Kombucha!  We bonded over our Kombucha, talking about our favorite flavors and our horror stories of opening the bottle!

 

A Lively, Fermented Brew

(from ASK MARTHA)

 

Q: What is kombucha?

A: Kombucha is a fermented drink often found at health-food or grocery stores.  It is made by steeping a gelatinous, fungus-like disk- actually a colony of yeast and bacteria- in a black or green tea sweetened with sugar.  Despite its appearance, the beverage has enjoyed great popularity recently.  And the quirky glob is what drives demand- it feeds on sugar, producing live culture that is though to teem with good-for-you properties.  Indeed, various names allude to its reputation as a panacea:  In French, it’s “champinon de longue vie” (mushroom of long life).  In German, it’s “Zauberpilz” (“magic fungus”).  The history, like the drink, is a bit cloudy, but its millennia-old roots are probably Asian; “cha” is Japanese for “tea.”

                  Some do credit kombucha with stimulating digestion and liver function, strengthening the immune system, and preventing cancer, but there’s little scientific evidence that it provides these benefits.  In fact, because the libation has been associated with some food-safety issues- mostly related to home-brewing mishaps that resulted in contamination- doctors generally recommend that people with weak immune systems stay away from kombucha.

 

If you don't want to spend the $4-$5 per bottle, there's a tea shop in Evanston that teaches you to make your own.  DreamAboutTea.com

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