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Black rye bread

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Black rye bread - one of symbols of Russia


1 Introduction

2 Black rye bread in the old and modern Russia

3 How and where to taste real Russian black rye bread

4 If you want to take black bread to the homeland

5 Sorts of Russian black rye bread

6 Borodinskiy sort

7 How to eat black rye bread in a Russian way

8 Health benefits of black rye bread


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Russian black bread is one of the symbols of our country. It is one of the most famous Russian foodstuffs, and its fame may compare only with buckwheat.

The main feature of black bread is it is made of rye. The second feature - it should be cooked without yeast, but with special ferments. Yeasts are not applicable for pure rye, because they are too weak.

Such bread is popular only in few countries of the former Soviet Union. In other countries rye flour sometimes can be added to a bread mixture, but it is not the main ingredient. For example, Poland and Germany grow a lot of rye, but it is used for feeding livestock and as an addition to wheat flour in bread. You will not find black bread in Germany or Poland.

Black rye bread in the old and modern Russia

The cultivation of rye was much more popular than wheat in the old Russia. The reason is in bad conditions in the central part of Russia. The hot season is short – it is about 120 days; the soil is very poor; the weather changes fast here. In these circumstances rye gives richer harvest.

70% of all cooked and consumed bread was black bread until the middle of the 20th century. Not only corns of rye were consumed. The stem of this plant is strong, and rye straw was good for feeding cows and horses, and it was also used to cover the roofs of houses. Such roofs worked well up to 20 years.

It is interesting. Black rye bread was used as a shampoo in the old Russia. The mix of boiling water and pieces of bread was used to wash hair. Women believed it increases hair growth rate and makes hair stronger.

Wheat bread was a food for rich people, and black bread was popular among common Russians for a long time. Poor people could eat wheat only on holidays. This situation has changed in the 20th century, and wheat bread is usual for Russians now. Only 15% of all cooked and consumed bread in Russia is black rye nowadays. Most of modern Russians prefer wheat; we call this sort as “white”.

How and where to taste real Russian black rye bread

It is almost impossible. You can find bread with dark color in supermarkets, but this foodstuff cannot be identified as "black rye". All this dark bread is made of mix of wheat and rye; it is 70 percent of wheat and 30% of rye usually. The technology is also not original, because yeasts are used instead of special ferments.

You may ask: why the real Russian black bread disappeared? It is because the mixed type is much cheaper and easier for mass production. The substitution process started at 90s, after fall of the Soviet Union.

All Russians agree the taste of dark bread become worse, but only one of ten of us knows the real reasons and the facts that we told you above.

It is possible to taste real black Russian bread. There are few restaurants of national Russian cuisine that bake its own black bread. For example, “Ermak” and “Godunov” restaurants. We think now it is the only way.

You may taste a few dishes "in bread pot” in such restaurants. Black rye bread is used as tableware; it is very unusual, and we advise it for bright experience during your travel to Russia.

Bread machines appeared in Russia not so long ago, and nowadays many of Russian people prefer to cook real black rye bread at home.

Of course, you can buy fake black bread in a supermarket; it is better than nothing. The fake is the main reason why "the mixed type" becomes less and less popular among Russians every year. Many of us remember the delicious taste of real black rye bread, and we can not recommend you this fake product.

If you want to take black bread to the homeland

You should remember the important fact. You have 3 days after bread was baked; it will become stale after this period. We recommend to buy fresh bread in your last day before departure.

Sorts of Russian black rye bread

There are many sorts - “Moscovsky”, “Darnitsky”, “Rijsky”, etc. But all these sorts do not have a big difference; the taste is the same. Only one sort is strongly different from others. It is “Borodinsky”.

Borodinsky sort

The borodinsky type bread was found after famous battle near Borodino village in 1812. It was a funeral dish at first; this dish is prepared in commemoration of soldiers killed in this battle. Later in 1930s, this type became widespread in Russia.

The main difference of Borodinsky sort – it is addition of coriander. Also, sugar, honey or syrup may be added.

The main difference of Borodinsky sort is the addition of coriander. Sugar, honey or syrup can be also added. The taste of Borodinsky bread is a little sweet and very special. We advise to taste it in any way. Even if you purchase it in a supermarket, then the bright experience will be guaranteed.

How to eat black rye bread in a Russian way

There are four basic ways. The first is to eat it as additional food with soup. Russian borscht or shchi are most common.

The second way is to make a sandwich with butter, we think this way is most delicious. The third way is to make a sandwich with herring. And the fourth way is to make a sandwich with sprat. The Interesting fact, that these two fishes are popular in Russia, but our country exports it.

See the small gallery below.

Eating black rye bread with salt is the old tradition. Salt was very expensive in the old times , and bread with salt was a delicacy for Russians. There is a proverb in Russian language “Ne solono hlebavshi”, it means “to eat without salt”. When somebody went away not achieving his goals, then we say this phrase.

Salt with rye bread take part in the Russian wedding and meeting tradition. When we meet dear guest or just married, we offer these two foodstuffs. The guest should break off a piece of bread, immerse it in salt and eat.

Health benefits of black rye bread

Black rye bread is very healthy. It contains A, E, B1, B2, B5, B6, B9 vitamins, iron, zinc, calcium and many other useful substances. Rye is richer with useful substances than wheat.

Some nutritionists consider rye bread is good for losing weight. Of course, rye contains fewer calories, but the difference is not large. Wheat bread contains 230 calories, and the energy value of rye bread is about 200 calories. As you see, there is no big difference. The Russian culinary culture is able to offer you few dishes with the much lower values. See the sour cabbage article.

Black rye bread is a “heavy” food; it is hard to digest. Russians are adapted for this, because we eat it for thousand years or more. But for foreigners it may be hard. We do not recommend to eat much.

We wish you to find real Russian black bread during your travel to Russia. Read our best articles (watch for the list of links below and in the left column of this page).

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