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"Known to the locals as 'portion bread,' it's really just a simple mix of polystarch flour and some water. The chemical reaction from the combination of the two creates a self-risin' miniature loaf that would satisfy even the pickiest scavenger."
―Strono Tuggs, The Official Black Spire Outpost Cookbook[src]

Polystarch portion bread, also known as portion bread or simply polystarch, was a type of self-rising bread made by combining polystarch flour with water to trigger a chemical reaction. In 5 ABY, the Battle of Jakku between the New Republic and the Galactic Empire left behind a starship graveyard on Jakku. Many wrecks contained polystarch ration packs that Unkar Plutt used to control the food supply at Niima Outpost, where scavengers like Rey traded valuable salvage for portions of polystarch. After the Battle of Takodana in 34 ABY, the bread was adapted into a recipe by chef Strono Tuggs for his cookbook.

Description[]

Polystarch portion bread was made by stirring together a packet of beige and green polystarch flour with water, activating a chemical reaction that expanded and solidified the mixture into a doughy loaf of bread.[1] When polystarch was paired with veg-meat, the combination met basic nutritional needs and could be stored for decades in dehydrated form.[8] Unkar Plutt, a Crolute junk boss, referred to this combination as "meat and bread," though it was doubtful that these rations tasted like either food.[9]

History[]

The end of the Empire[]

One-quarter portion of dehydrated veg-meat and polystarch flour

Dehydrated polystarch used to make portion bread and dehydrated veg-meat were supplied together in some military ration packs, including those of Galactic Empire, the Rebel Alliance, and the New Republic.[7] Prior to the Battle of Jakku in 5 ABY,[10] a New Republic team formed that included human starfighter pilot Norra Wexley and Zabrak bounty hunter Jas Emari. Emari used to eat polystarch and other rations when her jobs kept her from eating proper meals.[6] Wexley was captured on the planet Jakku by stormtroopers, and she was forced to work at a kesium gas rig. Her rations were sometimes a packet of polystarch with water to activate it into bread.[11] After the battle between the New Republic and the Imperial forces assembled by Counselor Gallius Rax, Jakku's surface was littered with wrecked starships from both sides.[12] Supplies salvaged from the wreckage included dehydrated polystarch and veg-meat ration packs which were divided into portions by Unkar Plutt, who controlled the local food supply at his Concession Stand in Niima Outpost.[7]

Between wars[]

Around 9 ABY,[13] the Mandalorian warrior Din Djarin travelled to a desert world as he sought help from fellow Mandalorians Bo-Katan Kryze and Koska Reeves to rescue his foundling, Grogu. He located them at a bar that served several kinds of baked goods, including haroun bread, ahrisa, space waffles, and polystarch.[2]

As a scavenger on Jakku, Rey frequently ate polystarch portion bread.

A scavenger named Rey lived on Jakku and salvaged valuable parts from crashed ships to trade with Unkar Plutt for portions that included dehydrated polystarch.[12] Rey's home was a wrecked and converted All Terrain Armored Transport called Hellhound Two.[14] On one occassion, Rey was about to eat portion bread for supper when storm winds blew the hatch open, covering everything including her bread with sand. As she had no other food, Rey blew off as much sand as she could and ate the sandy loaf. Soon after, she competed with Melitto scavenger Sarco Plank to salvage the wreckage of a star destroyer locally nicknamed the "Ghost Ship," but they encountered the still-active security droid K-8Z8. Rey pushed Plank to abandon a fortune in rations to escape the droid. Plank gave her several portions afterward, and they shared a meal of polystarch portion bread.[5] Another salvage job for Plutt was delayed by a large, immobile happabore blocking the way. As Rey ate the bread portion she had been saving, she realized the happabore was unwell. She was then able to help the creature and complete the salvage job for twenty portions.[15]

In 34 ABY,[16] the First Order sacked the Tuanul village on Jakku. They captured Resistance pilot Poe Dameron, but not before he charged his droid, BB-8, to continue his mission.[1] Rey had just consumed veg-meat and polystarch portion bread for dinner when she heard BB-8 crying for help and rescued him from a Teedo individual trying to catch and sell him. When BB-8 accompanied Rey to the trading post, Plutt offered her sixty portions in exchange for BB-8. Though initially tempted by Plutt's offer, Rey declined it and took only what she was owed for the salvage that she brought to the outpost.[1]

Age of Resistance[]

"Jakku is a remote world with little to offer but heat and sand. Food is scarce, and water even more so. That makes cookin' anythin' worthwhile there a bit of a chore. However, I did manage to discover a minor culinary miracle on one of my recent visits: instant bread."
―Strono Tuggs, The Official Black Spire Outpost Cookbook[src]

Strono Tuggs' version of polystarch bread

The Battle of Takodana in 34 ABY[10] destroyed Artiodac chef Strono Tuggs' former workplace, but he went on to operate a restaurant in Black Spire Outpost on Batuu, and he authored a cookbook with recipes collected during his work and travels. He encountered polystarch portion bread on Jakku and considered it a "minor culinary miracle" on a planet with limited food and water. He could not completely replicate the self-rising process outside of Jakku's conditions and speculated that its desert heat was a factor. Nevertheless, he included an approximate recipe in his cookbook and described it as instant bread.[3]

Behind the scenes[]

Polystarch portion bread was first depicted in the 2015 sequel trilogy film, Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens.[1] The instant bread effect was achieved practically. Special effects supervisor Chris Corbould said, "You wouldn't believe how long it took to actually perfect that one, that little tiny gag in the film." While the mechanical aspects were simple, the cosmetic details took much longer, making the total effect take about three months to design.[17] An inflatable bladder molded to look like bread was placed at the bottom of a liquid-filled bowl, and as the liquid was vacuumed out, the bread mold was inflated.[18] The said bread, however, was reported to have tasted terrible and probably had next to no real nutritional value.[17]

The bread was first identified as "polystarch" in Star Wars: The Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary.[12] In 2016, StarWars.com featured a recipe created by Jenn Fujikawa for "Rey's Portion Bread" which was inspired by its appearance in the film, but the resulting bread was solid green in color due to including matcha powder.[19] Polystarch portion bread was given its complete name in the 2019 cookbook Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge: The Official Black Spire Outpost Cookbook, written by Chelsea Monroe-Cassel and Marc Sumerak. The real-world recipe uses vegetable oil, wheat flour, instant oats, sugar, baking powder, dry seaweed flakes, salt, pepper, cinnamon, and water.[3]

Appearances[]

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Non-canon appearances[]

Sources[]

Non-canon sources[]

Notes and references[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens
  2. 2.0 2.1 The-Mandalorian-logo.png The Mandalorian – "Chapter 16: The Rescue"
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge: The Official Black Spire Outpost Cookbook
  4. The Force Awakens: Rey's Story
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Destroyer Down"—Star Wars Adventures: Destroyer Down
  6. 6.0 6.1 Aftermath: Life Debt
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 StarWars-DatabankII.png Ration Packs in the Databank (backup link)
  8. Star Wars: Book of Lists
  9. Star Wars: The Force Awakens: A Junior Novel
  10. 10.0 10.1 Star Wars: Galactic Atlas
  11. Aftermath: Empire's End
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Star Wars: The Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary
  13. StarWars.com SWCC 2019: 9 Things We Learned from The Mandalorian Panel on StarWars.com (backup link) establishes that The Mandalorian is set about five years after the events of Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi, which Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates to 4 ABY. Therefore, The Mandalorian is set in 9 ABY.
  14. Rey's Survival Guide
  15. Forces of Destiny: The Rey Chronicles
  16. Star Wars: The Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary dates the events of Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens to 30 years after Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi, which is dated to 4 ABY in the Star Wars: Galactic Atlas. Therefore, it can be calculated that The Force Awakens occurs in 34 ABY.
  17. 17.0 17.1 McNally, Victoria. 'Star Wars': Rey's Instant Bread Wasn't CGI — It Was Totally Real (2016-01-14). MTV. Archived from the original.
  18. YouTube.png Star Wars: The Force Awakens: The On-Set FX Supervisors on the DP/30: The Oral History Of Hollywood YouTube channel (backup link)
  19. StarWars.com Rey's Portion Bread on StarWars.com (backup link)

External links[]