WHAT IS KEFIR AND WHERE DOES IT ORIGINATE?
Water kefir is made from the kefir grain that takes the form of crystals. It has an intriguing origin story of its own: probably propagated on Mexican prickly pear cacti, water kefir was brought back from Crimea by the British and offered to Mother Teresa by Tibetan monks. The crystals also enjoy a symbiotic origin having appeared in many cultures simultaneously; from Mexico, to the Caucasus Mountains of Georgia, Tibet and Ukraine.
The crystals, when introduced to water and a sweetener, like sugar, honey or even molasses, during fermentation, produce a carbonated beverage that may benefit from the addition of ginger roots, and citrus or berry fruits during a second fermentation. With recipes that allow so many variations, water kefir enjoys a wide range of names that reflect its cross-cultural origins: tibias, snow lotus, Himalayan crystals and California bees!