The Taste of Memory

I got really excited when I saw the full collection of my favorite Russian beer at the store last weekend. Baltika is the most popular beer in Russia, and it’s everywhere, in both glass and plastic. They have a line of beers numbered 1-9 (with a 0 as well: a non-alcoholic version), which are roughly equivalent to their alcohol content, and it was a favorite pastime among my compatriots to debate which number was superior. I always went for the darker beers, 6 and 9, but I do have a soft spot for unfiltered wheat beer, so 8 was a winner for me too. Eric and I split the 8 at dinner last night, and boy howdy, has it been a long time since I had an unfiltered beer! I guess there are some things in life that are only for the young and strong of heart. I am still hopeful about 6 and 9, though. Even if I find that I can’t stand them, I’m grateful for the memories. My second time in Russia, I went with a few friends on a tour of the Baltika factory in St. Petersburg. It was a shiny and hoppy smelling place. They showed us how they turn tiny capsules the size of a pill into one liter plastic bottles, and I was duly impressed. I remember too how I debated and debated about which glass to buy for my dad in the gift shop, and how I worried about whether or not it would survive the trip in my suitcase (it did!) I remember how I asked for a bag of almonds at the snack bar and was complimented on my pronunciation, because almond is kind of a hard word to say, and after many months of tongue-twisting, I had managed a smooth soft L. Those moments were pure gold to me. I am hoping I’ll taste a few memories more as I work my way through the rest of my spoils, my miniature version of Russia in California.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...