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I've never really been a fan of searching all over town to get that one special ingredient to make an American dish. Especially if it's something Western and expensive. I'd rather use what's more available and cheaper.

However, I do have a grasp of what is sold where, so that I can stop off to get cocoa on my way home from worship practice, for example.

Meanwhile...I have been doing a lot of baking lately, but sometimes I worry about all the white flour. Supposedly it is not great for your health, but giving up bread products is not something I see myself doing anytime soon.

That's why I recently started the search for healthier bread-making ingredients.

Like whole-wheat flour.

Here's the story: click to continue/-

One friend suggested a certain store that would have whole-wheat flour, and mentioned something about online bread-making forums. Hmmm, what juicy bits of information could I dig up in the forums? I found that there are ways to get wholesale ingredients from warehouses, although it's all very casual: you call them up and see what time random people are allowed to come buy things, and they tell you a price and minimum amount you can buy, like 1 kg. And you might have to bring your own bags and bottles.

Well, that sounded a little too informal for me. I wanted an actual store with set prices. There are also some Internet stores set up, but I've never ordered off the Internet before in Russia. Not sure about the reliability.

Then I stumbled across an Indian store claiming to have whole-wheat flour. What especially grabbed me was that it was right across the street from my classes. No further convincing necessary!

After class the next day, I headed over to find "Himalaya," the Indian store. I pictured myself browsing the aisles, smelling the Indian spices, finding an exotic treat or two to bring home.

The store was marked clearly enough, with colorful signs. Right next to a garbage heap.

I walked in, and could barely take more than a few steps since there was a long line at a counter and the store was quite cramped. So much for browsing and poring over all the interesting products (most were behind glass). It did smell nice, though.

For some reason I had pictured an Indian family working there, perhaps a pair of brothers who would speak Russian with an accent and ask me where I was from. Nope, just a soft-spoken, middle-aged Russian woman.

I elbowed (gently) my way up to the counter and asked about whole-wheat flour. They did have it in stock.

"How much do you need?"

"Ummm....a kilogram?"

"It starts at two."

"Okay, let's go with two."

She plopped a plastic bag down on the counter (pictured above) and I plopped down some money, and that was it. My field-trip to "India" had taken about 5 minutes.

Once home, I opened the bag, and peered at it, trying to see if the flour was actually whole-wheat. It did seem to have some speckles in it. I probably wouldn't have known the difference anyway.

I whipped up a batch of flat-bread, (pocketless) pita, lavash, or whatever you want to call it.

Now to find molasses...


  1. We bring our molasses in from New England. We have never found whole wheat flour here. Karen would really like some

  2. Hi - Could you tell us where this store is? I'd would love to have some whole wheat flour! Thank you! Miki

  3. Yep, it's 1-Sovietskaya 6. Can't miss it.

    Karen and Michael, have you tried asking in a bakery? They must get ingredients somewhere... maybe they could name a source!

  4. You can get molassas (or something closely resembling it) at any аптека. It's called холосас, if I remember correctly.

  5. Hmmm...from what I read, that's made from rose-hips. Maybe it tastes similar to molasses, but molasses is патока.


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