Over the past several years, kombucha emerged as a health food craze and gradually became a routine part of many people’s diets. It doesn’t look like the popularity of this fermented tea drink will fade any time soon. For students earning an online culinary arts certificate, it’s important to understand why so many people have embraced this beverage and consider how it could influence your dishes.
These five reasons explain why kombucha is proving to be more than a fad.
1. Kombucha has a lot of history behind it
“Kombucha has already been around a very long time.”
Despite the recent spike in popularity, kombucha has already been around a very long time. As Forbes explained, the drink’s roots trace back to northeastern China around 200 B.C. Over time, it spread, showing up in Japan as well as Russia and other parts of Europe.
In the 1990s, commercially made bottles of kombucha began appearing on the shelves of American health food stores. Over the years, the beverage has only been more widely embraced. After standing the test of centuries, kombucha is unlikely to fade away now.
2. You can make your own
One reason behind the enduring popularity of the tea drink is that making a batch is a fun at-home fermentation project, though you should always take precautions when working with live bacteria. The Kitchn provided brewing directions, calling for making a sugary tea, transferring it to a jar and then starting fermentation by adding a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast. It takes seven to 10 days to complete the fermentation process.
The symbiotic culture has completed its work when the mixture reaches the right balance of sweet and sour for your tastes. Then, the kombucha goes into bottles at room temperature for one to three days, until it carbonates. Once the drink is properly fizzy, store it in the refrigerator for up to a month.
3. Many believe kombucha is good for you
Fans of the sour beverage frequently say it can provide a wide range of health benefits. While there is not much evidence for most of these claims, kombucha often contain probiotics. As The Washington Post explained, these live bacteria have been associated with improved digestion and could offer a boost to the immune system. The tea drink can make a good alternative to sugary, high-calorie sodas.
4. Devotees appreciate the intriguing taste
While the taste may not be for everyone, kombucha enthusiasts find the unique flavor satisfying. The sourness can be compared to a Belgian lambic beer, and some brewers have even combined the tea-based concoction into their beers. Eater noted that manufacturers have created a number of interesting blends for those who are not enthralled by kombucha alone, like drinks featuring the flavors of tangerine, black cherry or a combination of of mango, passion fruit and hibiscus.
5. Kombucha pairs well with food
For a chef, one of the most important questions about any beverage is, what dishes does it go best with? Kombucha can go nicely with a number of different foods. One option is to combine the drink with other fermented or pickled foods to complement the tartness. The drink can also substitute in for vinegar to bring a fresh spin to a recipe.
Whether you make your own or pick up a bottle at the store, kombucha puts interesting new flavors at the disposal of a culinary academy student. The beverage has grown in popularity over recent years, and it looks like it’s here to stay. Give it a try and you may find the ideal pairing in your recipes.