俄罗斯冷知识:喝伏特加一定要闻面包Russia’sstrangebread-sn

Investigating why Russian people sniff bread while drinking vodka offers a portal into the realities of Russian life at a time when sympathetic cultural insight is sorely lacking.
上圖:一些人认为,闻面包有助于吸收酒精和抵消伏特加的味道。
“布里斯托竟然有人开始生产一种名叫诺维乔克(Novichok)的伏特加,” 招待我们的女主人娜塔莎·沃德(Natasha Ward)邊说:“要知道,诺维乔克是前苏联开发的一种神经毒剂, “創意” 立马就被喊停了!” 邊在南伦敦的家中擺桌。
并像在聚会上介绍客人一样解釋菜肴:“第一道菜是鲱鱼,加了点盐,没有经过腌制。英国人不喜欢吃甜根菜,他们眼见到的甜根菜(在超市裡)都腌浸在醋內,而 ‘鲱鱼卷’ 又看起来像裹尸布….你懂的,因此有必要解釋一下。”
注:数十年来,科学家、间谍和化学武器专家一直都了解并恐惧诺维乔克。这是一种由苏联及俄罗斯在上世纪十年代研发的强效神经毒素,可以以液体、粉末或气溶胶的形式投放,据称比西方更有名的神经毒剂(比如VX和沙林)更致命。而去年九月,俄罗斯反对派领袖阿列克谢·A·纳瓦尔尼正是被诺维乔克属类的致命神经毒剂毒害哦。

“Somebody in Bristol started making avodka called Novichok,” said our host, Natasha Ward, faux-scandalised at the reference to the toxic nerve agent. “And they were immediately told, ‘Stop it at once!’” She laughed as she finished setting the table for the day’s gathering in her home in South London, introducing the dishes as one might introduce guests at a party. “We start with herring, salted, not pickled – English people hate beetroot because they’ve only ever met it in this horrible vinegar, and those rollmop herrings that look like corpses, you know?”
Note: For decades, scientists, spies and chemical weapons specialists have known about and feared Novichok. It is a potent neurotoxin, developed in the Soviet Union and Russia in the 1980s and 90s, that can be delivered as a liquid, powder or aerosol, and is said to be more lethal than nerve agents that are better known in the West, like VX and sarin. Well last year The Charité hospital in Berlin, where Aleksei A. Navalny, Russia’s opposition leader, was in a medically induced coma. The German government said he had been poisoned with a deadly nerve agent from the Novichok family.

沃德是在不同文化之间游走的高手。她有一半俄罗斯、一半英国血统,曾为不同的机构和人士做过翻译,包括联合国的机构、美国好莱坞巨星安吉莉娜‧朱莉(Angelina Jolie)和戈尔巴乔夫(Mikhail Gorbachev)在内。今天,她的任务是向我們解释俄罗斯人为什么会在喝伏特加的时候,必定嗅闻面包。这个任务可能不如她之前的工作那么耀眼,但在一个文化洞察力极度缺乏的时代,这的确为我们提供了一个了解俄罗斯人真实生活情况的窗口。
Ward is a master of moving between cultures. She’s half-Russian, half-English, and has worked as an interpreter for such diverse parties as the United Nations, Angelina Jolie and Mikhail Gorbachev. Today’s task – explaining exactly why Russian people might sniff bread while drinking vodka – may not be quite so starry, but it does offer a portal into the realities of Russian life at a time when sympathetic cultural insight is sorely lacking.
在不深入实际的肤浅观察人士看来,目前俄罗斯与西方的关系,似乎如漫画裡所夸张的一样寒冷。最近有关俄罗斯和美国退出核武器条约,以及英国索尔兹伯里(Salisbury)的神经毒剂中毒事件等新闻报道,带来的不仅仅是一丝冷战的寒意。
当然,2018年俄罗斯世界杯是个例外。
To armchair observers, relations between Russia and the West currently seem cartoonishly chilly; there was more than a touch of Cold War frost to recent news reports about the Russian and Americanwithdrawal from a nuclear weapons treaty, theSalisbury nerve agent poisoningsin the UK and, of course, the2018 World Cup in Russia.
“俄罗斯队最后输了的时候,我们都很高兴耶,✌️” 安娜·伊万诺夫(Anna Ivanov)说。丈夫米沙(Misha)则在一旁耸了耸肩,他們的女儿海伦娜·贝利斯(Helena Baylis)是沃德最好的朋友。當20年前贝利斯遠嫁英国時,把父母一塊接過來,从俄罗斯移民到了英国。“俄罗斯队赢球的时候,天知道媒体吹了多少牛,嘴巴没停过!”
“We were happy when the Russian football team finally lost,” said Anna Ivanov, while her husband Misha shrugged. Anna and Misha are the parents of Ward’s best friend, Helena Bayliss, and the couple moved here from Russia 20 years ago when their daughter married an Englishman. “When the team were winning, there was so much hot air in everything the media said. The mouth didn’t shut for a moment!”

“好了啦,” 沃德说,“我們先喝哪种伏特加?”
“Now,” Ward said, “which vodka shall we start with?”
最终的选择令人印象深刻,倒也顺理成章,俄罗斯毕竟诞生了化学家门捷列夫(Dmitri Mendeleev)。门捷列夫不仅发明了元素周期表,据说还完善了伏特加的配方,将其酒精度严格限定为40度(此说法流传甚广,是一个有趣的迷思)。因此,沃德拿出了用辣椒、纯俄罗斯伏特加、好莱坞演员艾克罗伊德(Dan Aykroyd)在纽芬兰打造的伏特加,加上自制柠檬伏特加调制的烈性珀特索伏卡伏特加(pertsovka vodka)。沃德实事求是地说,“这其实是一种医用酒精,酒精度95度,然后按一比一的比例兑水,再加入柠檬。” 换句话说,这就是私酿酒?
“當然不是,如果是私酿酒,我们得有蒸馏器。” 贝利斯大笑起来。“娜塔莎,你让我失望咯!”
The choice was impressive, as it should be. Russia, after all, is the birthplace of the chemist Dmitri Mendeleev, who created the Periodic Table and is also said to have perfected the recipe for vodka as strictly 40% proof (a popular myth but a fun story). Accordingly, Ward offered fierypertsovkavodka made with chillies, plain Russian vodka, vodka made in Newfoundland as part of a new venture by Hollywood actor Dan Aykroyd and homemadelimonaya(lemon) vodka. “This is actually medical alcohol which is 95% proof,” said Ward matter-of-factly, “which you then water down, half and half, and add lemon.” Moonshine, in other words? “No, if it was moonshine we’d have to have a still.” Bayliss started laughing. “Natasha, you disappoint!”
我们这一小群人聚在一起有两个原因:一:为了享受快乐时光,二:搞清楚俄罗斯人喝伏特加的习俗,即相聚饮酒时以礼仪的名义嗅闻面包这个由来已久的传统。
Our little company was assembled for two reasons: firstly, to have a convivial time; and secondly, to get the bottom of the Russian vodka ritual – a time-honoured tradition that has social drinkers sniffing bread in the name of propriety.
上圖:俄罗斯人在喝伏特加时要嗅闻面包的习俗非常特别,也为一窥俄罗斯生活现状提供了一个窗口。
首先,从冰箱里取出伏特加和玻璃杯,贝利斯简单介绍了喝伏特加的要领,当然是俄罗斯式的。她说,“伏特加得是冰凉的,酒杯得用小杯子。然后,喝完酒一定要吃咸的东西,或者黑麦面包。喝完伏特加后吃奶油泡芙是没有意义的,没用。” 沃德补充说道,“或者什么都不吃。但愿不会出现这样的情况!”
To begin, both the vodka and the glasses were retrieved from the freezer, and Bayliss outlined the essentials for drinking vodka, Russian-style. “Vodka should be cold, glass should be tiny and there must be something salty, or rye bread, to follow,” she said. “There’s no point in drinking vodka and following it with an eclair, it doesn’t work”. “Or,” added Ward, “God forbid, following it with nothing!”
冰点伏特加,让人想都不用想,仰脖一饮而尽,冰凉的酒更为润喉。贝利斯说,“喝伏特加不存在小口抿,慢慢品味。” 为什么人们要喝伏特加?她的母亲笑了。“哎呀,是喝下去之后