UEA Publishing Project, University of East Anglia, Norwich, 2022

ISBN 978-1-913861-47-6

My godfather Friedel owned a bakery. The Schlatter bakery; rolls, doughnuts, pastries, chocolate, and ample pan cun paira, Engadin pear loaves, all the time… My godfather and his wife, Gisela, ran two shops, one on the main road and one down on Dualatscha, which housed the oven. Gisela was a person for whom time spread out, like an ocean. She was never in a hurry, which was good for the confections, they also needed time and calm.

I respected that a baker needs to wake up very early, at four in the morning. To be one of the only people up working at night and sleeping during the day was mysterious. Like occupying a different, but parallel world. Perhaps Friedel would chat to Bischoff the blacksmith on the phone just to pass the time? Did they talk about their lives, make plans for when they eventually retired, at 100 years old? Or did they not talk at all, simply worked away in their separate, private worlds?

A Pfünderli Schwarzbrot, a pound of dark rye, that’s what my mother used to ask for and what I had to say whenever I went for bread. I can’t remember how much it cost back then. I have never tasted such bread since. The same is true for Vintschgauerli, Friedel’s speciality – or Engadinerli, in Zurich. It’s a moist rye I still like best with a slice of Bündnerfleisch.

Another gift from the mountains.