bread with bread

Today I got a tuna salad sandwich and I ate it with a whole wheat bagel. Maybe for some of you, it looks like a little bit weird and crazy but for me it is ok; it reminded me one story about bread and bread…

When I had a vacation in my friend’s friend ‘s house in Pennsylvania last year , it was a funny story one morning. This friend’s friend was an old-fashioned white American man in his 60s; he has two dogs and amazing backyard. The first morning, me and my friend realized that we were (!!!) starving. We asked him to go to the closest grocery store which was a Walmart. You cannot imagine, we bought 5 types of bread: Whole wheat which is my favorite, white bread for sandwiches, sour bread that I can eat with everything, brioches and hamburgers buns just in case. When we came back home, he started to cook some meat (I do not remember which one but it was a meat), and we started to eat bread with everything. He asked us, “Why, you guys bough a lot of bread?” and the answer was simple, “hm…because it is bread. It cannot be too much bread.”

Because he was an American, he ate everything without bread…meat without bread, fried eggs without bread, tea without a piece of fried bread. And every time when he looked at us, he was so confused because we ate a lot of it. We finished five loafs until the next morning and he said, “You guys are crazy… you eat bread with bread.” We had shared couple of stories with our friend and now I want to share it with you…

…In reality, in Uzbekistan or post-soviet-union-republics the first sin was throwing out the bread. My grandfather said, “Bread might be a first meal, bread with a sweet tea might be a dessert, bread is itself might help to stay you alive.” Following this rules, every time when I have a bread left, I can do a croutons or bread crumbs but it is difficult to put it in a garbage. Living in perestroika time, people (who knows that time may smile now) were in a long lines to have a half of a loaf of  “grey” bread. (In USSR, “grey” bread means a loaf of bread of a lower grade flour because of the color of a flour; this “grey” definition means a bread today as well but it might be a “white” bread – high grade flour or whole wheat… but this name of the bread stayed forever, I guess). I remember that time when I was a kid and we were on the line with my mom. Because she was a teacher and a young mother of two kids, a woman who worked in the grocery store gave us 2 loafs instead of 1.5. I was a kid and understood nothing, but now, I realized that perestroika time was a tough time for everybody. Because of this time, the delicious thing was bread with butter and sugar. Can you imagine it now? Who will eat it now…what kind of kid will try it? But on my time, every single kid in my school brought a pieces of bread with butter and sugar on top of it. And it was a delicious thing in the world 🙂 Because my motherland is a very, very, very hot country (I mean weather), the thing that we can eat are fruits and vegetables on summer time. To feel fully yourself, we eat fruits with Uzbek bread called “Lepyoshka.” In my city, lepyoshka is a very light white flour piece of bread. We believe that eating lepyoshka which means bread with a sour cream every day, you can lose your weight. (Story about lepyoshka will be another topic of my blog).

One more story that I remember from my middle school is that Tashkent (my home city and capital of Uzbekistan) is a bread city. It was a story about one brave kid from Povolje; it was a drouth in Povolje and as the result starvation. One kid named Misha (or American name Michael) decided to go to Tashkent to get a few sacks of grain to his village to sow and help his village to stay alive. If you are interesting to watch this movie, here is the link . It is in Russian but you will feel the power of starvation and brave in it… because a legendary movie shows a reality without any words.

When we said that and watch a movie with our American friend, he realized how we value this piece of food.

Despite the fact that we used to live in USSR time and now we live in a modern world, we never forget this time and grandparents’ stories. Maybe because it is a part of traditions to “respect” a food or maybe because it is the tastiest thing in the world… I do now know but I know that eating bread with bread is in my blood. (This picture on your left is showing you how “grey” bread looks like in reality).


ps. Pictures were taken from the culinary site