We’re all now analysts of how countries and communities have reacted to the complexities of a partitioned world. Like many, I have been surprised by two recurring words: New Zealand. Never before have I been so proud, or so homesick, and this sends me into the kitchen.

An unforeseen boom (and boon) has been pandemic baking. In some countries (including Japan), this led to flour and yeast shortages as home gourmets perfected artisanal boules. Sourdough skirts this issue entirely. I live only 20 kilometers from the epicenter of the 2018 Atsuma earthquake in Hokkaido, and even without electricity we had fresh, naturally leavened treats hot from a pan.

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