A penchant for cardigans, spy novels and pop culture connections.
Kruh, it means bread in Slovenian. “To evoke stories of grandmothers that bring us luck” we are reliably told.
Kruh, it’s an identity, one of a young Italy, one that does not fear the past but embraces it. One that looks forward and asks questions like, “how can we make something happen using the skills we are losing.”
Kruh, it’s about a gastronomic future that need not fear the fear of carbohydrates.
This is Kruh, a bakery found in Bergamo, a city that has not wavered in its own search for an identity, one of old and new. Alta e bassa. Here, Marco and Irene join a growing breed of new age bakers, ones that understand things like ‘mother dough’, ‘zero km production’ and ‘sustainability’. They are not fashion words, they are ethics and reason, a mantra that separates from the gross, over produced commercialism into something true, something original, something artisan.
On the face of it, their mission is simple, bake good bread. But there is more to it. There is an understanding of the environment, of materials and resources, the idea of science and of artistry. Theirs is a shop that is placed in new Bergamo, but understands the lessons from old Bergamo, old Italy generally. The artisan hasn’t died, it has changed.
For those that forgo the scarpetta, a carbohydrate riddled act of glutinous bread wiping of the plate, sweeping up every last drop of sauce, there is someone who doubles down. There is someone who loves their bread, someone who loves the presumed incivility to shun away the modernists; the artisan has re-birthed pleasure. Pleasure in a simpler life, a slower life.
The artisan is no longer someone who can just be one trick though, the artisan is someone who must reach out in different ways. Kruh manages it not only with different styles of bread (multigrain, spelled, rye and barley) but with sweetbreads, laced with figs, nuts and chocolate. Damn fine chocolate. There are biscuits and bakes, pizza slices and focaccia, but critically, they are trying.
First tastes, first smells, they’re all important but that doesn’t make you a master of your craft. A new age approach to a millennium old industry, surely that is how you master today’s new market. That is how you make people interested in re-discovering pleasure, that is how you get bakeries like this.