Tuesday, August 26, 2008

What's so great about sliced bread?

Life in the Balkans certainly has its deficits, but going out in the morning to the corner bakery to pick up a loaf of bread still warm from the wood-fired oven is not one of them.  Having to slice it myself is a small price to pay.

In our early days in Albania there were sometimes bread shortages and consequently long lines at the bakery.   Let me rephrase that; there were never really lines in the strictest sense of the word.  More like a rugby scrum.   Then there was the time I chipped a tooth on a rock in a loaf of bread.  Someone later explained to me that the rocks get in there when they sweep the flour off the floor.  But none of these traumatic experiences -- having to fight for my food and having to go to the dentist -- were enough to put me off Balkan bread.

I got to talking about bread the other day with a friend from this part of the world who spent a little time in the States.  Overall I think that he was pretty overwhelmed with a lot of his  experiences, but our American bread made a lasting impression on him.  "I put in the fridge and forgot about it," he said.  "A month later, it was exactly the same!  It hadn't changed even the tiniest bit -- for good or for bad!"

I realize that the old saying, "the greatest thing since sliced bread" is probably a weak target since most people use it with a certain amount of irony.  Speaking of old sayings, remember the line from the Lord's prayer:  "Give us this day our daily bread"?  Here in this part of the world, that still makes sense.

2 comments:

Rebecca said...

You are making me hungry!!!!

Jennie said...

Fresh hot bread that can be sliced or pulled apart beats 'sliced bread' anytime.