Sour, fermented beetroot juice for borscht (barszcz)...

I know that it may sound horrible, but believe me it's the key ingredient for anyone who wants to try the 'real deal' which is borscht. It's very easy to make and beetroots are mainly what you need. I have to admit though, that it was my first time making sour beetroot juice, as it's my Dad who always makes it (and I had to give him a call to check the details ;) ). You can easily keep it in the kitchen, pantry, utility room but just away from the direct sunlight and maybe not next to heater etc. You can use your beets twice for it, but the second batch of the juice will be less sour.
It's something very traditional, especially in Eastern Europe, but as everything else it's slowly being forgotten. I think we should keep those traditions (not only the culinary ones) alive. Hope you'll give it a go!

How to make it...
- 4 medium beetroots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 l tepid water

Place your beetroots in a big jar, small pot etc. add garlic, salt and your lukewarm water. Do not cover it tightly as the air has to flow. You can cover your pot with a lid with a hole in it (those which allow steam to escape) or if you have a jar (or don't have a proper lid) just take a muslin cloth and cover with that.

Set aside, somewhere in your kitchen, with normal room temperature. After few days you'll notice a foam starting to form - do not touch it!!! It's an important part of the whole process. After the foam you should notice a small circles of mold on the surface. That's the sign we're waiting for - your fermented beetroot juice is ready. Carefully take all the mold and foam from the surface and discard. Now you can use the sour juice as a base of your barszcz or like many people do - just drink it, bit by bit, for medicinal purpose.


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