The russian kvass

The russian kvass is one of the best nonalcoholic beverages. It is inferior to none in the respect of taste and alimentary properties. It was invented more than 1000 years ago. Nowadays it has also a well-deserved popularity.

In Rus kvass was first mentioned in 989, when the Duke of Moscow Wladimir turned his nationals Christian. It was chronicled: „To distribute food, mead and kvass to the people“.

Kvass, which is made of rye or barley malt, has not only high taste properties, but it invigorates and improves metabolism. In its health effect it is similar to kefir, sour clotted milk, koumiss and acidophilus milk. Kvass as the product of lactic fermentation regulates work of gastrointestinal tract, prevents from reproduction of pathogenic bacteria, it tonisizes, improves metabolism and work of cardiovascular system. These healing properties of kvass can be explained by the availability of lactic acid, vitamins, free amino acids, sugar and diverse trace elements.

Kvass raises appetite, has quite high caloric content. It is not accidental, that they took an interest in kvass in many countries of West Europe. At the international contest, which took place in Yugoslavia in 1975 year, Russian kvass (from Moskow) got 18 points, and the well-known drink Coca-Сola only 9,8 points. In Rus kvass was always highly thought of. It was made in cloisters, hospitals, mansion-houses and peasant households.

The ways of making kvass, so as the ways of bread’s baking were known in each home. Centuries-old experience showed, that kvass contributes to good health and increase of capacity for work. When the russian peasant did a hard work (mowing, tillage, preparing firewood), he didn’t take milk or fruit drinks, but kvass, because he thought, that it removes tiredness and recreates. The scientists confirmed this property of kvass. So, malt extract has many bioactive substances and is growth-promoting factor of young animals. Corn-maize extract was more bioactive. It forwarded to weight increment of animals to 205%.

The addition of malt extract to the sportsman’s food had a positive effect, particularly by hard muscular exercises. The high sugar content is in sportsmen’s blood longer in comparison with an impact of glucose, and lactic acid is less generated. Malt extract is considered to produce a positive effect because of it’s substances complex. That’s why beverages of malt extract are given to sportsmen in order to improve the physical efficiency, to remove tiredness and for the growth of the muscles. Bacteriologists, infectiologists and hygienists insist that the kvass has bactericidal properties. As far back as 1891 A.I. Uspensky explored a survival rate of typhus bacillus, comma bacillus and anthrax bacillus in bread kvass. It was found, that the typhoid bacilli succumb in kvass with acidity 0,32…0,42% at the lactic acid in 20 minutes. In 1913 V.S. Sotnikoff confirmed death of typhoid and parathyphoid bacteria in bread kvass.

At home kvass is made of rye malt, what set conditions for the rich chemical composition of this product. Rye has many healthy substances. So, there is 80 g calcium, 340 g phosphorus, 13 g Fe, 1,8 g copper, 8g manganese, 5 g molybdenum, 3,5g zinc, 11g cobalt in 100 g rye corn. Those elements act an important part in metabolic control and their intake into the organism is quite desirable. Along with the trace substances more than 10 amino acids goes into the organism , and 8 of them are essential. In consideration of it importance of traditional malt beverage becomes more influential. The number of vitamins in the kvass is not very large, but their regular intake into the organism has a positive effect. There are such vitamins as B1 (0,2 mg), carotin (0,2 mg), pyridoxine (0,2 mg), riboflavin (0,2 mg), vitamin PP (1,2), H and E in 100 g of the rye. There are proteins (2g), carbohydrates (50g), organic acids (3 g) and above-listed vitamins in 1 l of the kvass.

It affirms again the great importance of kvass as an everyday beverage, which is made of the natural products. The cooking of kvass on the old recipes is a quite complicated, tedious and long procedure. The steep of the grain, it’s sprouting, steaming, drying, grinding and wort’ preparation last more than 70 days. But nowadays kvass concentrate or powdered malt can be bought, and the kvass can be made of it. It is quite easy. If you didn’t manage to buy these products, you can use fried dried crusts. The kvass is worth consuming as often as possible.

This beverage is really both dietetic and prophylactic, it removes tiredness and improves physical efficiency. The russian folk proverbials and statements suggest the importance of the kvass. Here are some of them:

„The kvass like bread never bores“.

„The russian kvass saved many people“.

„The bad kvass is better than good water“.

„Cabbage soup with meat, otherwise – bread with kvass“.

„If there is bread and kvass, then everybody is by us“.

Kvass must be in each home. Then many diseases will not torment us and the constitution will be stronger. As of the sick men they must consult a doctor. It is not recommended the ulcer patients, patients, who have the chronic gastritis, peracidity, colitis, enteritis, podagra, hepatitis to drink a sour kvass. The malt extrakt, which did not fermented, do for them.

From literary sources it is known that the Slavs could cook tasty, hot, fragrant kvass long before the foundation of Kievan Russia. The folk masters made many kinds of the kvass. There are old kvass with mint and raisins, the Russian kvass, which is made of the rye malt and barley splintered malt, northern kvass, which is made of rye coarse meal, meal, which is made of the “Iceland” moss and black-current leaves, the Ukrainian kvass, which is made of rye splintered malt, dried crusts, strawberries, raisins, cinnamon and mint; spring kvass with fine-ground meal, the kvass, which is made of the rye powdery splintered bread, treacle raisins, rye splintered malt, wheat flour, buckwheat, wheat bran, mint and raisins; kvass of Moskow area, fragrant, peasant kvass, the kvass of Volga, Voronezh, the Lithuanian, red, white, the Polish kvass and so on. Besides, many fruit kvasses are known. There are apple, cranberry, cowberry, cherry, cloudberry, ashberry, currant, raspberry kvasses. The availability of kvass attested to the wellbeing in the home, stability of family life. Unfortunately the kvass is being supplanted by other beverages now. Probably you must not forget, that the Russian kvass is not only replenisher, but medicinal, dietary and prophylactic beverage. In the last centuries the Russian man could not do without the kvass. Kvass was a beverage of every day.