Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Katalyst Kombucha Schizandra Berry

What I though was a new flavour offering from Fairy's Tonic turned out to be kombucha from an American company called Katalyst Kombucha, based in Massachusetts. Kombucha has lately really intrigued me, and I was glad of the opportunity to try a new source of this mysterious elixir. The flavour was Schizandra Berry, and I first thought it was a fantasy flavour, but the schizandra berries are apparently grown right in Massachusetts, they add berry puree to their kombucha. This is also fully Organic.

From the 'Net, I found out that Schizandra Berry is a berry native to China and Japan, the fruit has sweet, salty, bitter, hot and sour taste (and is called wu wei zi, meaning five taste, fruit in China). The berries contain phytochemicals that have been shown to be anti-bacterial, a cardiac tonic, antioxidant and anti-depressant. Besides phytochemicals, Schizandra is also rich in minerals, vitamins and essential oils.

First thing I noticed was the layer of scoby (Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast) on the bottom of the bottle, and another I bought had a thick strand of scoby floating on the top. The bottle fizzed upon opening the cap, a good indication of fermentation. I found this to be an interesting flavour, kind of subtle, and I don't get the five tastes (but perhaps that's the fruit itself rather than as part of a more dominant flavour. I don't know that I would buy this particular flavour again, and don't really have a good source for it (I bought this at Essence of Life in Kensington Market).

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