The zefir is a bit of a trickster. Outwardly, it may look like a crispy meringue, but it is actually a softy, with the consistency of a marshmallow. And its roots are neither in France (birthplace of the meringue), nor Greece (from whence the name Zephyr, the Greek god of the western wind), but in the Russian town of Kolomna.
Indeed, the zefir is a Russian treat through and through. Some might even call it the Russian National Dessert, for it is based on the 600-year-old pastille, which Russian Life readers will recall was invented in Kolomna (see July/August 2011 issue). Traditional pastilles are made from a creamed puree of apples (usually sour varieties), combined with whipped egg whites and added berries and nuts to create different flavors.
To read more, follow the "Purchase Back Issue" link from the full story listing for this issue.