On May Day in Finland, Finns toast the start of spring with a traditional fermented drink called sima. Made with water, sugar or honey, lemon and yeast, the non-alcoholic sparkling beverage is enjoyed by adults and kids. And, as foraging continues to boom in Finland, people are adding wild foods and spices to their sima. An article in BBC Travel details the drink’s history and how it took over two centuries for sima to transition from a high society beverage to a traditional drink for the working classes.
“The reach of sima also extends beyond the festivities. Young students learn to ferment sima in schools; restaurants offer sima on their Vappu (May Day) menus alongside herring, potato salad and sweet pastries; and big breweries bottle and sell their own versions of the drink. Each spring, shop shelves fill with varieties of sima, and newspapers review the best brands. Furthermore, artisanal food culture has turned homemade sima into a trend, with creative home brewers experimenting with new flavours ranging from spruce to cucumber to rhubarb.”
Read more (BBC Travel)