If you do, and by do, I mean drink, then you are probably very sad that it is currently off the shelves at Whole Foods due to “concern around potential labeling issues related to slightly elevated alcohol levels in some products” .
When I first heard the news, I joked that it explained why “everyone”, not just hippies and health nuts are plunkin down upwards of $2.50-$3.99 per bottle of the stuff daily. Must be the booze! Of course, that is where the masses and most of the lovely media went with it. It is easy to make those assumptions and easy to not do any research. I mean Google is so difficult to use, right? Let’s just burn’ em at the stake.
I am not writing this as an advocate or a detractor of Kombucha. I am simply amazed at the phenomenon and I do drink the stuff occasionally. My fella drinks it every day and has been paying $4 for it at the little store down the street that still carries it.
It does contain varying amounts of alcohol. however it was never “recalled” from Whole Foods. Recalling an item implies that it is detrimental to health or safety. It was temporarily pulled because of government regulations requiring specific labeling. I look forward to seeing how they resolved it!
You may have gone for coffee because you have never heard of Kombucha or don’t care, but here’s my take.
I am not going to explain where Kombucha comes from or the fact that it isn’t a mushroom. If you click on Kombucha at the beginning of the post, you will be magically transported to Wikepedia and I can’t guarantee the validity of that either, so good luck.
This is what I know about Kombucha as a humble consumer. I became familiar with GT’s Kombucha about 4 years ago when a wonderful crunchy friend of mine turned me onto it. The buzz was that the owner’s mom cured herself of cancer with it. That didn’t exactly happen, but you can click here to get the real story. I am a fan of “active cultures” I am not a health professional, but my “gut” tells me that they are a good thing. I love yogurt and I also fancy the word “probiotic“. There you go.
GT’s Kombucha tastes like champagne with a little apple cider vinegar and whatever fruit flavor they have thrown in to soften the taste. I don’t like it so much that I have to drink it everyday. It makes me cringe a little and causes the lips to purse, so I pretty much drink it for my health here and there. There are other brands out there that may be more suited for my palate, but a really cool friend of mine says she has two “mothers” and is going to teach me how to make my own.
There are many reasons why I would want to have a giant fermenting live culture pancake floating in a jar in my kitchen. One is that I would like to save my fella about $100 a month, two is that I can probably create Kombucha that tastes good to me, chocolate Kombucha anyone? and Three because my guy actually looked healthier when he was drinking Kombucha all the time.
I am not sure what the moral of this story is, but I do dig that regular folks from teachers and investment bankers to Yogis and healers here in the good old USA are enjoying something that may be traced back to 19th Century Russia or ancient China. Groovy.