Look at What Our SCOBY Has Become!

September 21, 2015

If we're not careful, this SCOBY will soon overtake our office. 

Remember our cute little SCOBY of weeks past? (There he is, above right.) 

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Well, after months of fermenting the sweet tea and getting transferred from jar to jar, he has multiplied. Where there was once one SCOBY, now there are many (too many to count, and you can even see a new one growing across the surface!). 


While Amanda Hesser has said that the SCOBYs make her nauseated and resemble a piece of art by Damien Hirst, she's tolerated their existence at the editorial desks. And personally, I think they're beautiful—a wonder of the forms of life (yeast and bacteria) that we often ignore but that are crucial to life on the planet (and to cooking, eating, and digesting!). 

What do you think about our SCOBYs? And can you tell us what to do now that we have so many? 

First photo by Bobbi Lin; all other photos by author

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Marianne
  • petite_oiseau
  • janeofmanytrade
  • Adam Janofsky
    Adam Janofsky
I used to work at Food52. I'm probably the person who picked all of the cookie dough out of the cookie dough ice cream.


Marianne October 2, 2015
I have just started making my own Kombucha with great flavors. After the my tea has brewed and fermented with my wonderful SCOBY I flavor the strained tea with fruits and spices. The health benefits for my gut have been very good and many of my friends are requesting SCOBY babies to have the own brewing pots. I guess it's more of a West Coast of North America thing.
petite_oiseau September 22, 2015
I have heard of using them as face masks, of all things! Either a whole SCOBY placed right on your face or pureed with a bit of kombucha to make a paste. My SCOBY is still too small to do either, but I will definitely be trying the paste when it is time!
janeofmanytrade September 21, 2015
On occasion, someone will ask for one and I gladly give it to them. Mostly, they end up in my compost pile. When my mother was staying with me last year, she asked me what is that "fetus like thing in the jar?" Sadly, it is now referred to as the fetus.
Adam J. September 21, 2015
I agree with Amanda Hesser -- these look like snot pots.