Kvass-buffoon Andrey Salamatov said why kvass is called living water, how different varieties are made and how the authentic Russian drink is useful.
Do not rinse your oats
– Five years ago, I met bath workers at the Guslitsa Art House in the Moscow region. It is a creative space where people are invited to participate in various projects. The children promoted a healthy lifestyle, they branded themselves soaring at five in the morning. I was also treated to their special cabbage stuffing, made without sugar, with honey. I really liked the taste. I asked the teachers to share their secrets. It turned out that there are many types of this drink. My father had his own recipe for a crust of bread, but I did not suspect such a variety.
I brought grain to the attendants from my stocks. Together we mixed my first kvass right in Guslitsa. Thus began my journey into the world of making this drink. I like it because I respect healthy, wholesome food.
In the process I learned a lot. For example, that you do not need to wash oats for kvass if you want to achieve the right taste. And it is better to put the starter in a plastic or glass container. Not everything worked the first time. Sometimes the jars exploded – I overdid it with sugar or honey. I do not use yeast, but I am not afraid of sugar. In the process it is fully recycled.
In kvass, I like bitterness and astringency. Among my favorites are grapefruit, wormwood and alder, in alder cones. The well-prepared kvass is very pleasant to drink. But a drink in which technology is violated is better to throw away or add to the pancake batter.
Buffon at the show
Along with studying the intricacies of making kvass, I continued to carry out my creative projects. I myself am from Samara, but I often visit Moscow. In fact, I live in two cities. I am a director by education. I organize festivals, I hold creative events, I often act as a fan – this is one of my favorite images.
I bring my kvass to summer fairs. I always try to say interesting things about it to buyers. The drink is important to prepare and serve properly. I turn the trading place into an interactive platform. I take a balalaika, I sing songs, I invite people. Sometimes I walk between the rows, I communicate with the sellers. I try to cheer up and motivate those who sit with a dull expression on their faces. I make you dance sometimes. Our exhibition is not a foreign market where everything is static. It’s good for every marketer to know a few things about their product – witty and up-to-date.
My goal as a buffon-kvass is first to walk in the exhibition and then to treat everyone who wants kvass. During my student years I studied Russian culture at the Pedagogical University, something that helped me a lot in the future. I had excellent teachers who gave me a huge pool of knowledge. Before, people lived differently. At festivals, for example, traders were constantly moving along with the goods, shouting barks. I do not deviate from tradition and I do the same. Directing training helps me to present my drink correctly. It is very important what you sell and how. It is largely a stage work. When I’m with a balalaika, people immediately gather.
Where there is no electricity
At first my relatives did not understand why I needed it when I was cooking kvass at night. I did not sleep, because the kneading of 300 liters and the pouring into containers after the infusion of the drink require privacy in the kitchen. But after several reports, I was able to bring home a good amount. Yes, you can make money by doing what you love. But for that you have to be a really enthusiastic person.
I cook kvass in Moscow and Samara. I leave the starter in the freezer in the hope that the fridge will not disappoint you. The yeast is stored for a long time. What I made my first kvass from is still alive.
It is very interesting to cook kvass in nature. Sometimes my festivals took place in places where there is no electricity or running water. I brought buckets with me and insisted kvass near the tents to be saturated with sunlight. Deliver its secret ingredient – ten kinds of homemade yeast – in plastic bottles.
You have to be a fan of kvass to be interested in the authentic Russian technology of making kvass. This drink is living water. Research confirms that properly prepared, it is very healthy. It heals the body, impregnates it with essential trace elements.
Today, many people try to eat right. I like to see people’s reactions after the test. The body immediately determines which kvass suits it best. You feel it intuitively. In addition to cereals and legumes, the drink can be infused with herbs, tree bark, root vegetables, spices, seasonings, nuts and more. In total, I counted 90 varieties and the mixes and blends of many flavors at once is just an unimaginable amount. And each is useful in its own way.
I make tastings and tell people what they can do to take care of their health. We can all cook kvass. The cost is very budget friendly. Enough sugar, water and raisins. And, of course, the main element is the yeast, which will serve for many years. When you fight inaction, you find your way. I like to get comments. I am happy to share my experience, but I do not impose it on anyone. Everyone can find something new. From time to time, on social media, people write about how they prepared a drink according to my recipes. Kvass is very fond of bath attendants, as it helps to restore water balance after the ascent.
One winter I was going for a tasting and I met a friend. Of course, I treated him with my skein. His eyes lit up. He said that now he would also prepare living water. He recently sent photos of what he took. He uses yeast, something I do not recognize, but everyone has their own way.
Photo from the personal archive of the hero of the edition