Limerick Youth Service student Kelly Blackledge and baker Paul O'Brien with the Soviet loaves
YOUNGSTERS at the Limerick Youth Service have been busy baking a very special batch of bread to mark the centenary of the Soviet.
Led by master-baker Paul O’Brien from Woodview Park, and artist Ann Ryan, batches of ‘Soviet Bread’ are being baked during the month of April, and will be served up at the first night of Mike Finn’s Bread not Profits play on April 16, as well as in the Urban Co-Op at the Ballysimon Road and each Thursday and at the Youth Service in Lower Mallow Street.
“It’s based on a recipe very similar to the 1919 recipe. It would be a different type of wheat, the texture and make-up of the bread would be slightly different. But like during the Limerick Soviet, the bread was quite dense and very heavy. Our Soviet bread would be similar in that regard,” Paul explained.
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Through the research, it was discovered that Canadian grain was used in the original pans supplied to workers involved in the strike.
“Used grain was commandeered from a ship docked in Limerick Port, which held 7,000 tonnes of it,” artist Ann explains, “Canadian grain would have been in usage in the British Isles during the war period.”
Ann, who studied at the Limerick School of Art and Design, has been interested in the Soviet for the last 20 years, and saw the production of bread as a good way into the launch of a project.
She said: “It is particularly relevant as a symbolic aspect as well as a material aspect, because it is an international symbol of resistance around the world, from the French Revolution, the Boston riots, and right up to today in Tunisia, Egypt and Palestine.”
Although the students of the Youth Service were quite understandably tired from their day of baking the Soviet bread on site in Mallow Street, they have developed a new appreciation of one of Limerick’s key episodes.
Paul added: “Thanks to Ann, she has opened their minds to what happened 100 years ago – and mine to be honest!”