Mornings in Kochi are incomplete without the sweet, warm scents of bread from bakeries that line the streets.
The source of the aroma is a historical buttery breudher bread, which falls somewhere between cake and bread in taste and texture respectively.
A remnant of Dutch rule in the 17th century, this bread has amassed immense popularity as a culinary gem, still enjoyed centuries after the Dutch rule in Kochi has ended.
A melange of simple ingredients (
, sugar, eggs, ghee, yeast) goes into making the bread. Sometimes, raisins, candied oranges and spices are added for the extra zing.
Today, the delicacy continues to be a regular feature on some dining tables while others prefer to limit it to festive days, particularly Christmas mornings.
A few legendary bakeries in the city continue the tradition.
One of them is Quality Bakery in Fort Kochi, started 50 years ago by a couple. It is said to be one of the oldest to still bake this bread.
Elite Hotel, another bakery started in 1963 on Princess Street, has been baking it since the Anglo Indians lived in Kochi.
Also known as ‘bluder’, ‘brudel’, ‘blueda’, ‘bloeder’ and ‘blueda’, the bread continues to be one of the prides of the city.
But Kochi isn’t the only place that holds dear the tradition of breudher making. Other Dutch colonies, such as regions of Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Singapore and Malaysia, also feature in the list.
In fact, in Sri Lanka, making breudher bread is a family custom that is celebrated to date.
A hearty meal then follows where the bread is eaten with salted butter and Edam cheese. A true feast indeed!