At first, it might be hard to understand the appeal of kombucha, a food trend that has made its way from the coasts to St. Louis. A fermented tea drink that’s made using a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast sitting atop brewed tea that often tastes like vinegar? Sounds iffy.
But kombucha brewers and enthusiasts may be on to something with this sour concoction. The drink is a probiotic, meaning it promotes an active gut and healthy digestion. It is also high in B vitamins, which play an important role in cell metabolism. Those claims haven’t been tested by the Food and Drug Administration.
It should be noted that, through the process of fermentation, kombucha does have alcoholic content. In most cases, when distributed widely in grocery stores, the alcoholic content is kept below .5 percent. In some cases, however, brewers can sell kombucha on site that has a higher percentage of alcohol in the brew.
Sauce Magazine recently highlighted local kombucha brewers in their April issue. Heather Hughes, the magazine’s managing editor, said the article prompted some fighting in the office because fermented foods can be pretty polarizing.
“Some people really like the fermented part — that it tastes sour, vinegar-y and funky,” Hughes said. “It is the same thing with kimchi or sour beer. Our art director wrote a frowny face next to the article on the calendar board because she hates the flavor, but that’s part of the reason we wanted to write the article: there is such variety in…
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