Saturday, May 29, 2010

shameless plug | needs re-write

Delicious black bread via Yogurtland.

I've been reading these Russian posts on Sunshine Supercars (go visit, I guest blog there!) for over a year or so - stories filled with mad Russians racing their super-fast cars at evil speeds on public roads, seemingly without a care in the world.

They fascinate me, these Russians. I want to know more about them. How do they think? Where do they live? What - most importantly - do they eat?

You all should know I'm a bit of a foodie, so it seems a natural enough question to me. You should also know I have a real problem with Ohio winters, so how do these Russians get through theirs? By loading up on that superb Russian staple: bread!

I was as surprised as you probably are to learn that bread is one food item a Russian table is rarely without.

Now, we all know that no decent human can deny the satisfaction of a freshly-baked loaf of crusty bread, but the Russians elevate its importance to an intense level of seriousness. The Russian intellectuals have asserted that "the quality of bread is the quality of our life".

The importance the Russians have placed on their bread isn't recent, either. During the Cold War, the baking of bread was industrialized, and the Soviet government fixed its price, making a bland, homogenized, and stereotypically communistic sort of bread accessible to all.

In the home, more traditional wives and grandmothers prided themselves on their mad bredmakin' skillz. How did they organize culinary throw-downs in Russia? By pairing off a dense and chewy Borodinsky against a Chorni Chleb - a particular black bread with more than twenty ingredients, including rye flour, chocolate, shallots, coriander, and caraway seeds ... it sounds divine.

All this emphasis on bread and baking follows the Russian proverb, "bread is at the head of everything," and it seems to do a body good

And, finally, because I couldn't resist ...


... ah, Yakov. You taught us well.

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