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Romanian bors – recipe and details about borscht

Romanian bors recipe

The Romanian bors is a basic ingredient of sour soups cooked in Romania, but also a drink with multiple properties and uses. If you want to get acquainted with traditional Romanian cuisine, you must taste a glass of borscht. Below you will find some information about this miraculous drink.

What is borscht?

Sour Romanian borscht

The borscht is a probiotic complex, the result of mainly lactic fermentation of wheat bran. It can be included in the category of live nutritious drinks. Other such drinks are cabbage mill, pickle juice, socata (a jus made of shock flower), kefir.

The origin of the borscht is not very clear, but it seems that the Slavs brought it to this land. The Russians make a similar fermented drink called kvass, made from rye bread, with similar characteristics and uses. Borscht (fermented bran juice) is commonly found in Slavic cuisines (Poland, Ukraine, Russia) in the Republic of Moldova and in Romania, especially in the area of Moldova.

The northern populations of farmers had to solve a key problem: preserving plant food for the long winter. From this need imposed by the climate, the technique of acid fermentations was born.

The acid preservation of vegetables (pickled cabbage) is related to the same technique.

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This wheat bran maceration juice contains probiotics and important enzymes for a healthy digestive system, lactic acid, B, C, D and H complex vitamins, minerals (calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, chromium), essential amino acids and a few carbohydrates. That’s why the borscht has so many health benefits.

Probiotics are those microorganisms that once introduced into the body are good for the gut and colon. They preserve the health of the saprophytic flora, implicitly the health of the entire digestive tract. There are other foods that are probiotic carriers such as pickles or fermented dairy products, with the advantages and disadvantages of each category!

In the case of borscht, it seems that there are only advantages. The main advantage is that there is no salt in this drink so it can be consumed without worry by people who are hypertensive! Borscht has no glucose so it can be eaten by people with diabetes! It has no calories so it can be consumed by people who have bodyweight problems! And it does not contain lactose or gluten so it can be consumed by people with intolerance to the two substances.

The borscht is not recommended to those who suffer from gastroduodenal ulcer or gastritis.

Commercial borscht is pasteurized, which means that its properties are diminished. Therefore, it is recommended to consume homemade borscht, obtained only from natural ingredients.

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How to prepare the borscht? Romanian bors recipe

Traditional bors

The basic ingredient in borscht is the well-known wheat bran. Wheat bran fermented in water gives rise to that yellowish liquid, with a sour taste and special therapeutic effects.

Wheat bran, corn and “huste” (bran left over from the previous preparation) are used. This left-overs help to speed up the fermentation. They can be replaced by a little yeast. Several larch stalks can be used as a spice. These, in combination with water, are left to ferment for a whole day, and then the liquid is strained and put into bottles.

The borscht is prepared in an earthenware vessel or, failing that, in a glass one. Wash the dish well, rinse, then scald and drain well until dry.

Mix the wheat bran with the cornstarch and place it in a bowl. Add enough cold water to contain them, so that the albuminous substance in the bran dissolves. After 10-15 minutes, add boiling water and mix well with a spatula or a wooden spoon with a long tail, until it cools down enough to be tolerated in contact with the finger. Add the “huste”, mix again, then add slices of bread and 2-3 charcoals. This helps to clear the borscht and prevents the capture of an unpleasant odour over time. If you want your borscht to taste better, add a branch with cherry leaves.

On the third or fourth day, when the borscht is ready, strain it and pour it into clean bottles or into a cold storage jar.

Where to buy Romanian bors?

Where to buy Romanian bors

If you don’t want to prepare it, you can buy a bottle of bors to taste it. Since this is a popular ingredient in Romania, you can find it in the big supermarkets. However, if you want to try the natural version of it, go to a local market. Usually, some old ladies prepare it at home and come to sell it at the local market.

How is the borscht used?

Borscht can be used either as an ingredient in food or separately as an individual drink. It is usually used in Romanian gastronomy only for souring soups. There are even a few sour soups called borscht.

Soups and borscht are extremely old and have been prepared since ancient times for the recovery of the sick or wounded, as they were easy to cook and digest. Also, many of the traditional Romanian soups were not invented here.

The most famous soups and borscht that are cooked in Romanian cuisines for centuries are meatball soup, chicken soup, beef soup, fish borscht, rooster borscht, and vegetable soup.

As a drink, borscht is used in various situations. Popular, it is a famous remedy in cases of indigestion, primarily due to the intake of natural probiotics, but also because it helps eliminate toxins from the body. Borscht can also be used in weight loss, stimulating fat burning.

Borscht is also famous for fighting hangovers. Not only does it relieve the unpleasant symptoms of alcohol abuse (nausea, headaches, feeling weak), but it also has the ability to speed up the hangover.

It is a drink so popular that in the Bucovina region, for example, before fasting and before holiday meals, all dishes and cutlery were rinsed in borscht and then blessed with the sign of the cross, to  “wash away all evil”.

If you don’t want to try drinking natural borscht as such, to still feel its influence, try a traditional soup. And maybe after a party, you will enjoy the beneficial properties of the Romanian borscht in the case of hangovers.

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