Information is where we find it, and “green news” may appear before our very eyes from the most unexpected sources.
Such is the case with our discovery of Zubrowka Bison Grass Flavored Vodka!
Watching an episode of “How It’s Made” on the Science Channel one evening, I was fascinated by a segment telling of the making of a Polish vodka that’s flavored with bison grass.
My attention was initially captured by the fact that the making of this vodka dates back to the 14th century.
Even more impressive and attention grabbing (to my “green news” radar) is the fact that the vodka comes from a region of Poland that contains Europe’s last remaining primeval forest--Bialowieza--and that within this area the continent’s last herd of bison roam and graze on a form of vegetation known (appropriately enough) as bison grass.
Not only do the bison graze on this particular grass in this lone remote area of the world, but the grass is also harvested and used in the making of the vodka.
“Harvested” might paint an inaccurate picture of the gathering of the bison grass.
Actually, only a few local people even know where this small stand of grass grows and the proper method of cutting it (with hand tools) so that the roots of the plants will not be damaged, and will therefore continue to grow and produce more grassy foliage that can again be cut to produce more vodka--thus making the bison grass a rather rare but renewable resource to be used in the centuries-old tradition of crafting this unique vodka.
The blades of the bison grass must then be properly dried (in the attics of those same locals who gather it) in order to impart maximum flavor into the fermentation and making process.
According to an article in The Wall Street Journal, while the bison grass flavored vodka has been produced for centuries in Poland and consumed in its native land and in other European countries, this vodka has been banned in the United States (until recently) as the bison grass contains the toxic chemical “coumarin”.
However, after much research and lab work, the makers have been able to come up with a coumarin-free version of the vodka. As a result of this, the product is now available for purchase in the United States.
Each bottle of pale-yellow greenish hued Zubrowka Bison Grass Flavored Vodka (ZU) is crafted with a single blade of true bison grass inside.
What a unique visual and conversation-provoking product this company has come up with!
According to the information on the label, this vodka has “unique notes of citrus, cut grass, vanilla, and coconut” and offers “a spirit certain to impart a distinctive twist to any cocktail.”
What I like is the reminder that our green and growing planet offers rare and unusual gifts which can be crafted into remarkable products that can be enjoyed by those of us lucky enough to inhabit this amazing Earth.
Keep it green!