Russian Runaway Gingerbread: Kolobok

Each culture, each country, each nation has a number of folk-stories, fairy-tales and myths. When comparing them with each other it is very easy to say this great connection between nations as a lot of them are very similar or simply the same tales told in different languages. Every time I read fairy-tales and see their resemblance I am yet again convinced that the whole world is but one big country and all of us are its citizens!

Today I would like to share with you the folktale called “Kolobok” (the equivalent of the Gingerbread; the little round bun, shaped as a ball).

The story tells about a grandma who wanted to make something special for a grandpa. So she made  Kolobok from scratch and put him on the open window to cool down. Now, Kolobok decided he had to run away. He would roll and sing a song: “I ran away from grandma, I ran away from grandpa”.  He met different animals along the road who wanted to eat him, but he was clever enough to run away. Until he met the Fox. The Fox is usually portrayed as a cunning and naughty animal in Russian folk tales. So the Fox asked  Kolobok to sit on her nose and sing the song again for her. Of course, Kolobok was naive and trusting. But as soon as he jumped on her nose – the Fox swap him with her big tongue and ate him!

For me the moral of the story was always – never trust strangers!

My friend, Alla  and her daughter Aryana, graciously agreed to share some pictures of Aryana reading the book and doing the Kolobok puzzle!

You can make your own Kolobok at home! Below is the recipe I got of a Russian website Shkola Zhizni (The School of Life) and below is the translation of the traditional Kolobok recipe.

You will need:

2 cups of flour (best to mix wheat, rye and buckwheat flour together)

0.5 cup of sour cream

100-150 gr of butter

baking soda on the tip of the knife

Mix all the ingredients, make the balls and bake in the oven at 200C for about 30 minutes.

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Do you have a favorite folk tale that is equivalent to Kolobok or the Runaway Gingerbread? Share with me – I’d love to learn about it!

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