Once upon a time there was a French baker who crossed the Atlantic Ocean to move to America. He took his sourdough culture with him and founded a bakery in San Francisco in 1849. Over the years sourdough bread became very popular in the Bay Area. In 1898 the gold miners travelled from San Francisco to Alaska to find gold in the rivers. They carried a leather pouch filled with sourdough culture around their neck, hidden under their clothes to keep the culture warm and alive. Food as scarce in the long Alaskan winters and the miners’ life depended on the bread baked with their personal sourdough culture. Today, old Alaskans are still called “sourdoughs” and sourdough cultures are still passed on and exchanged. Read more
HOW CAN WE MAKE LOCAL AND SEASONAL FOOD MORE ATTRACTIVE TO THE CITIZENS OF BERLIN THROUGH HAUS DER STATISTIK?
In the following experiments I want to explore types of dough: yeast dough, sourdough, soda/baking powder dough and dough without leavening, main ingredient: wheat, wheat wholegrain, spelt, spelt wholegrain, rye, rye wholegrain, buckwheat, emmer, oats, teff, rice, maize/corn, cassava, lentil and millet and baking techniques: on the fire, on the grill, on a hot surface, surrounded in hot oven and steaming.
Moving to Berlin and being surrounded by so many food cultures and eating habits, I started to think about my own relation to german (or local) food, family traditions and what I´m eating on a daily basis. How are my eating habits from growing up in a rather small and enclosed community now changed by being exposed to food cultures from all over the world? Does our generation, as the first one growing up with internet access, play a special role in the globalization of food cultures? How has traveling and having friends from many different countries affected my own food and taste preferences?
One of the foods that is considered a very german thing is bread. Many people agree that the huge diversity of bread is unique to Germany. Eating bread in the morning, in school and most times also in the evening as Abendbrot was my family´s eating habit. But bread can be found all over the world, being a staple food in most cultures and its ingredients, baking method, shape and use have been adapted to each community. How is this specialization affected by our globalized lifestyle, co-existence and mixing of many nationalities and cuisines, ingredients and techniques? Is the bread we are eating now representing this new way of living? Is the mixing and fusing into new cultures also creating new styles of bread? Like a Pumpernikel-tortilla or a steam bun filled with Hummus? Can bread bring different cultures together and create a mutual community?
(image by Bobby Doherty)