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Soaking up Siberia - Kvass

I made my first acquaintance with popular Russian soft drink kvass in Moscow after the first night spent in the train from Finland. The Trans Siberian trip was about to continue in the evening so we had a good opportunity to sightsee some of the Russian capital city. The day was boiling hot, but luckily there was a matryoshka selling cold kvass on draught in the park next to Kremlin. The nice and cold beverage was perfect to go with some lazy park bench-sitting (until a guard came out of nowhere and told the park is getting closed and we have to leave. Closed? In the middle of the day?) Kvass is traditional fermented low-alcohol drink made by fermenting grain or bread. The Russian brands I had during my trip were a bit different, e.g. sweeter than its Finnish equivalent kotikalja, still really good.

Kvass sold from a tank at the market place
As a matter of fact it was so good that later on the trip I bought a 1,5 litre bottle of kvass from a small kiosk on Novosibirsk station platform. The beverage was tad warm for my taste from the beginning and the flavour was somehow more artificial than those couple of pints I had drunk earlier in Moscow. Nevertheless I drank it all, the last drops maybe 30-35 hours later when the train pulled to Irkutsk station where we jumped off for couple of days. Big mistake! Little did I think of the fact that I had kept this fermented drink in warm train carriage conditions for a day and a half. If it wasn't already spoiled at the moment of purchase, it probably was by the time I gulped down what was on the bottle bottom before leaving the train. In few hours after finishing the bottle my stomach chanted diarrhoea cha cha cha. I survived the gastric dysfunctions by feeling merely under the weather for couple of days, so at least I didn't have to lie in bed for days. But it was quite an accomplishment to spoil one's own beverage and then drink it!

Next: Vodka (and Wine)

Previous chapter of Soaking up Siberia:
- Tea and Coffee

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