marina_bonomi: (cooking)
[personal profile] marina_bonomi
Today my mother and I started the family's batch of sourdough.

Up to now our home-baked bread was made using brewer's yeast, that's the most common and,possibly, easier way over here. Given the shared passion for baking  we decided it was high time to try the oldest method and start what we both hope will become a family heirloom (seriously, there are sourdough batches that go back multiple generations).

I love the idea of something alive that has to be cared for ('freshened' or 'fed' as home-bakers say over here) and that links together generations of women, and at the same time can be shared as a strongly symbolic gift and brought to a new house to 'warm it up' linking it to the previous home.

That said, 'sourdough' while descriptive and accurate, makes me think of something with a sour temperament, I much rather like the name we give to it in Italian: lievito madre, that is, more or less, mother-yeast.

If you speak languages different from English and your country/family has a tradition of bread-baking, how do you call sourdough?

Date: 2012-11-22 04:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
sourdough in French is "levain" ("that which causes to rise"). Kind of very different, though I can certainly see the argument for sourness...

Date: 2012-11-22 05:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
In Italian we have 'lievito' with the same meaning and, I believe, the same origin. 'Lievito', though is a non-specific word that applies to every rising agent (with the exception of baking soda).

Date: 2012-11-22 05:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
He, that's sounds very similar to French... :) We have "levure" which is the generic word, and "levain" which is "sourdough" (in French, we refer to the "acidity" of pain au levain rather than its sourness, too...)



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