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What is kvass and what are its benefits

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Russian kvass is one of the healthiest and most nutritious drinks among all existing at the moment.

According to historians, as early as the 6th century BC, Ancient Egypt produced a drink that vaguely resembles kvass. However, the birthplace of this kvass, undoubtedly, is Russia. 

It is known for certain that kvass was used in Kievan Rus. The Chronicles recorded that when accepting Christianity in 989, Prince Vladimir ordered to distribute food, honey and kvass to the people.

Over time, kvass has truly become a traditional Russian drink. There is a wide variety of its types: sweet , sour, mint, kvass, apple, beet, raisin, white, red, okroshechny, fragrant, diurnal, thick, kvass-shchi. 

This drink was given so much importance that the people even had a saying: "And thin kvass is better than good water."

There was also a special profession "kvasnik", a specialist in the kvass preparation. Moreover, each kvasnik specialized in some specific type of kvass, it was, for example, "Apple kvasnik" or "strawberry kvasnik".

From time immemorial, it has been known that in addition to the fact that kvass quenches thirst well, it has a positive effect on digestion, increases the body's tone, and full you with energy. 

In lean years, kvass was a recognized folk remedy for vitamin deficiency and scurvy, since this drink contains many important trace elements and vitamins.

Kvass is a product of incomplete alcoholic or lactic fermentation of wort containing no more than 1.5% alcohol.

In its effect on the body, kvass is similar to kefir: it regulates the activity of the gastrointestinal tract, prevents the proliferation of harmful pathogenic microbes, improves metabolism, and has a beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system. These useful properties of kvass are explained by the presence of lactic acid, B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, trace elements, and amino acids (including essential ones). And acids play an important role in the body to decompose and remove dead, diseased and pathological cells.

In Soviet times, industrial production of kvass reached its peak. In summer, there were kvass barrels on every corner where you could try this drink. According to analysts, in 1985, the production of kvass in Russia reached 55.3 million dollars. , which was about 29% of all soft drinks. In the 90s, when the flow of Western flavors of carbonated beverages flooded the Russian market, the production and consumption of kvass decreased and in 1997 amounted to only 9 million dollars. or 3% of the total production of soft drinks.

At present, the situation is gradually getting the better. In terms of consumption in Russia, kvass came in fourth place among non-alcoholic beverages, and this segment is leading in terms of growth rates. Sales of kvass have increased by 15-20% annually since 2001.

According to the results of 2018, it can be stated that the growth rate of the kvass market was 20-23%. Kvass producers agree that such growth rates will continue until consumption reaches the level of 1992, when 70 million dollars of kvass were produced. Now the kvass segment is four times smaller..

However, at the same time, this pushes unscrupulous producers to produce not natural fermentation kvass, which is sold in barrels and has a limited shelf life, but the so-called kvass drink, which is obtained not by fermentation, but by mixing components. Then add flavors, colors, preservatives, acidity regulators, very often – sweeteners; subjected to temperature treatment, and poured into plastic bottles. This surrogate has nothing to do with live fermentation kvass.

Therefore, do not trust the name "kvass" on the label. If the recipe specifies a sweetener, preservative, or stabilizer, then this drink can not be kvass.

Of course, this situation harms the reputation of natural kvass. Therefore, the main task of the main producers is to preserve the traditions of making live kvass and popularize this drink in Russia. And, given the fact that more and more people are striving for a healthy lifestyle, the future is for natural drinks and, above all, such as kvass.