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Old Fermented Borschstt Soup experience

Talk about period recipes & ingredients

Old Fermented Borschstt Soup experience

Postby Claude_Pechabaden » Wed Dec 28, 2011 8:50 pm

I wanted to share this on this forum as it is sort of related in a sort of traditional way to Ancient cooking.

Looking around for a nice Borshchte recipe on the net (having liked the ones of restaurants) we did a Beetroot soup a week ago with beef, and lots of vegetables, which tasted nowhere near the Borscsht served in restaurants, and wasn't sour at all despite the lemon put in it, It was allright but bof bof.

Looking again, I found this oddity on the Guardian website about someone doing an essay about Bosrcshts soup, and the fact that Maria Ochorowicz gave a semblant of a recipe that was simply beetroot and rye bread, fomented for a few days in a warmish place. http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2011/apr/07/how-to-cook-perfect-borscht
This sounded much more interesting!

So I went, sliced beetroots thinly (grated half of it in fact)added warm water to it (not boiled nor purified so possibly full of microbs and sheep detritus), but as I didn't have rye bread, I put instead 2 tablespoons of rye flour leftover in the cupboard from bread-making days, and, to help I thought, a tablespoon of unpasteurized organic yoghurt with the lacti in.

From the 24th till today, (what day are we? 28th!) it sat in the kitchen, in a stainless steel pan with a lid on.
Tonight, I saw it had started to develop little moulds bits floating on the top, and thought it was ready to be served. (the recipe-not stated that one shouldn't worry about the mould and just take it off and serve cold or hot with no more information than that!)

It is funny, because the colour of the soup changed from 4 days ago. It started pinkish-white and unappetizing, to a silky, smooth, thick syrupy burgandy red, proper beetroot colour. Beautiful.
I didn't dare try more than half a teaspoon of the raw "soup", fearing a bit for my life, but put the rest, after having strained it, on the stove to warm up till it got near to boil - but not to the boil as something was telling me it would lose a lot of its goodness if boiled.

It was very odd tasting, very sour, as if it had a lot of vinegar or lemon in, smelled like sourdough starter mix (to try and make it appetizing - no rude comments please about how it may smell of decomposed beetroot!) and was rather pleasing to the taste buds. (but not so much to the nose, I must admit)

It felt very satisfying afterwards, but of course I am wondering what will happen in the next few days, having once done an experiment with "The best thing since sliced bread in the alternative world of health": mouldy wheat grains that had developed a white mould and not a blue one and I only ate half a hand-full but was sick for about 3 days with terrible bowel pains and couldn't eat anything. This recipe was meant to be really good for health and the immune system, as the moulds of the wheat acted as antibiotics or I don't know what, it was meant to be a panacea that the Ancients knew about and us modern weak people had forgotten about. It didn't help a bit and put me off mouldy bread forever. So told people in prison ate mouldy bread in old times and were the most healthy of all, and resistant to disease! Maybe my wheat had microscopic blue moulds in it, but I won't try it again.

Anyway, I will keep this post posted about what happens metabolically.

Interesting, recipes from the past and tradition of things we couldn't do today in our health-and-safety world!!
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PS: I thought this would be a perfect recipe for Terry
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Re: Old Fermented Borschstt Soup experience

Postby Claude_Pechabaden » Wed Dec 28, 2011 9:00 pm

Ps, since eating the soup, I found this off-putting article that seems to say that this Borscht is perfectly allright and won't make anything happen, no putrids, no running, or anything else! The recipe is simple, but he only puts salt and beetroot and nothing else. I found mine more exciting with the rye and yoghurt! Though may have a go at this one.

BEET SOUR RECIPE (Rossel)
Remove tops and scrub beets thoroughly. Cut in halves or quarters and place in a glass or earthenware pickling jar that has a cover. Add about a tablespoon of sea salt per three medium beets. Fill the jar with water which has been boiled and cooled to lukewarm, or with lukewarm purified water, at least two inches above the beets. Let stand covered in a warm place from three days to four weeks to form soured beet juice for Passover borscht.



From a Jewish recipe found on
http://jcarrot.org/lacto-fermented-borscht-and-pesach/comment-page-1#comment-34138
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Re: Old Fermented Borschstt Soup experience

Postby Claude_Pechabaden » Thu Dec 29, 2011 12:57 pm

One very odd (or not) matter about this soup, is, other than not being ill today and hardly having any gastric flatulence, can I add that it seems that the Beetroot colour has been desintegrated in this process, as there is no trace of pink anywhere, when with beetroot there always is. Very interesting, I have put another pot on for Mr B when he comes home next week. I bet he will be delighted.
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Re: Old Fermented Borschstt Soup experience

Postby Claude_Pechabaden » Fri Dec 30, 2011 5:06 pm

If anyone wants to input any contradictory comments, they are very welcome! A forum is for debates, and I am not going to sulk if someone else disagrees with it. Well, only for 5 minutes. For the fun of it.
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Re: Old Fermented Borschstt Soup experience

Postby TerryL » Fri Dec 30, 2011 6:01 pm

No argument, fermented beetroot - sounds like a beetroot version of kimchi (fermented cabbage?) to me, just don'r expect me to eat it... unless maybe I'm starving, maybe... really starving.
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Re: Old Fermented Borschstt Soup experience

Postby Claude_Pechabaden » Sat Dec 31, 2011 9:02 pm

I thought you may object to having rotting beetroot in your flat ;-)
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Re: Old Fermented Borschstt Soup experience

Postby TerryL » Sat Dec 31, 2011 9:05 pm

Claude_Pechabaden wrote:I thought you may object to having rotting beetroot in your flat ;-)


There's maybe one down the back of the cooker that's been there 20 years because I can't reach it...


Actually, the only beetroot I buy are in jars, pickled - nice in summer salads, with cheese and sliced onions
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Re: Old Fermented Borschstt Soup experience

Postby Claude_Pechabaden » Sat Dec 31, 2011 10:29 pm

Well, if one of these is at the back of the cooker it will be very well, because some of the Eastern nations do their Borschte as pickling beetroots in vinegar for a few weeks and then making soup with it. So your back-of- the-cooker beetroot will be perfect in a few more months.
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