Encompassing a wide range of landscapes and climate zones—Arctic tundra, high mountains, boreal forests, grassy steppes, lush wetlands—Siberia is home to a large number of wild edible flora and fauna, as well as certain cultivated crops and domestic animals. Based on the author's on-site research combined with her own culinary experiences when living in post-Soviet Siberia, this article describes the multiple influences on the food supply and taste preferences of Siberians; many of the wild foods available to Siberians for thousands of years; the challenges of food supplies and urban kitchens in early post-Soviet Siberia; traditional methods of food preservation among native and immigrant populations; summer kitchens; and the importance of dacha gardens to the food supply of Siberia.
A specialty of the French region of Alsace, Kugelhopf is a light-textured, brioche-like cake made from yeast-raised dough flavored with raisins, lemon zest, and eau-de-vie . Usually baked in special ceramic molds with a tube in the center, most Kugelhopfs are crown- or turban-shaped, with fluted sides and a dusting of confectioner's sugar on top. Kugelhopfs are also made in molds of other shapes, such as hearts, stars, fish, and lambs, for holidays and special occasions (e.g., Christmas, Easter, weddings, baptisms). In Alsace these classic cakes are consumed in rural and urban areas by people of all ages, religions, and social classes.
Edible Arte: Springerle Cookies Springerle are white, anise-flavored cookies with a picture or design imprinted on the tops by specially carved rolling pins or flat molds. Sometimes the raised designs are also painted to enhance their appearance. A regional specialty of German Schwabia, Springerle are also baked in Alsace, Switzerland, Bavaria, and Bohemia. With roots in the pre-Christian era, Springerle are among several kinds of cookies shaped, molded, or decorated to depict animate or inanimate objects. The designs embossed on the tops of Springerle include religious figures, plants and animals, secular motifs, and symbolic images. The carving of wooden Springerle molds is an art in itself, and many European museums have collections of historical cookie molds. Today Springerle are traditionally baked for the Christmas season, although the motifs on historical molds indicate that these cookies were also made for religious holidays and secular events throughout the year in northern Europe.