The Big Book of Kombucha
Hannah Crum and Alex La Gory
Oh, kombucha! How do we love thee? Let us count the ways! This is exactly what Hannah Crum and Alex La Gory do in their big, beautiful book about kombucha. Kombucha—sweetened tea fermented with a SCOBY, a symbiotic combination of bacteria and yeasts—is a world-wide phenomenon, one that is certainly giving fits to the soda industry. Crum and La Gory provide the fascinating history, the extensive science, the lore and the lingo—one word for kombucha in German is Gicthqualle, meaning “gout mushroom.”
We get detailed instruction on kombucha making—including information on types of tea, sweeteners, water, method and equipment to use. Then comes a most inspiring chapter on flavored kombucha—with fruit, herbs, vegetables, even bacon!
After that, the recipes, starting with beverages like kombucha smoothies, ice cream floats and cocktails. Ketchup, mayonnaise, salad dressings and marinades can all be made with kombucha. Kombucha makes a great starter for ferments, and a soak for marinated fish. The SCOBY itself can be dried into a kind of jerky, and sweetened to make a candy, jello or fruit leather.
More uses for kombucha: laundry booster, stain remover, acne remedy, face mask, skin cream, bath soak, hair tonic, sunburn relief and even a flea and tick repellent. Adding old SCOBYs to the compost pile will speed decomposition, and your pigs will love them!
So there are lots of ways to love kombucha, and let’s not forget all the ways to love Hannah and Alex, owners of Kombucha Kamp (kombuchakamp.com), generous sponsor and donor at our conferences, and founders of Kombucha Brewers International, a trade association to support commercial kombucha brewers. Today there are about one hundred fifty commercial kombucha makers in the U.S., and this is only the beginning. Let’s look forward to the day when every hamlet, town and city has its own distinctive brand of kombucha, sold in supermarkets and mom-and-pop stores, featured on restaurant menus, purchased from vending machines, served at barbecues, dinner parties and weddings, and providing inspiration to kombucha snobs and aficionados. Hannah and Alex have played a major role in the kombucha revolution and will continue to do so with this inspiring and exquisitely illustrated book. Big THUMBS UP!