The Weirdest/Best Gift to Give this Holiday Season


We were at our daily ideas meeting when BA executive editor Christine Muhlke made a PSA: Her kombucha’s SCOBY had a baby and she’d be happy to give that newborn to anyone who wanted it. SCOBY stands for a “symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast.” It’s a jiggly, wet patty that looks kind of like a jellyfish and smells strongly of vinegar. It’s alive and it feeds on sugary tea, preferring air and warmth for normal functioning. You add a slimy SCOBY to brewed tea with sugar and let the mix ferment for seven to ten days. As it brews, the mixture is stinky, emitting powerful vinegar-y fumes; the SCOBY is what helps make kombucha fizzy and sour.

All in the Family
Most people refer to it as a “mother” or “starter” because it reproduces with every batch of kombucha you make. A SCOBY baby, aka a “daughter” or a “SCOBlet”, appears as a thin rubbery floating film on top of the liquid. It’s pretty funky and slippery, and looks a lot like The Blob or a Swamp Thing. But, since you only need one SCOBY to brew a single batch (and because SCOBYs are so…prolific), it’s a gift (of sorts) to give open-minded friends with strong stomachs.

That’s how Muhlke got hers. In 2011, a chef shipped a SCOBY baby cross-country from Las Vegas to her in Manhattan. Here’s how it all went down.

A SCOBY film forming on top of a fermenting kombucha. Photo: Flickr/irisphotos

Lindsay Lohan, Pilates, and Vegas
In June of 2010, Whole Foods yanked Las Vegas pilates instructor Tracy Maurstad’s beloved GT Dave’s bottled kombucha off its shelves. The reason? Lindsay Lohan’s alcohol monitoring bracelet went off and she swore the only thing she drank was the kombucha. Turns out kombucha has a small percentage of alcohol …read more

Source:: Bon Appetit