Dietribes: Give Us Our Daily Bread

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"¢ Bread has been around probably as long as we have, going far back into the Neolithic age. It comes in many shapes, sizes, colors and with varying ingredients, but it persists in its many forms in a way that not even Atkins can wipe out. "Bread" is often synonymous with necessities in general.

"¢ Legend has it that in medieval Europe, "when a loaf was one day old it was fit for the nobility, when two days old for the gentry, at three days it was good enough for scholars and friars, and when it was four days old—granting that any of the loaf remained—the common citizen might taste it."

"¢ The color-coded bakery twist tie might help you know when it's your day to eat bread, according to medieval Europe ... or just help you know when it was actually baked.

"¢Â Like driving a new car off the lot, bread begins going stale as soon as it is made. Which is why you should consider canned bread as an alternative (seriously I've had it - it's really good!)

"¢ Bread has also been influential in history on a number of occasions. In one case, the Great Fire of London was started by a baker. It may also have been responsible for some of the behavior leading up to the Salem Witch Trials ... at least, the effects of a hallucinogenic fungus that attacks it might.

"¢ Occasionally, bread's history has bordered on the sordid. Nitrogen trichloride, a.k.a. Agene, was a bleaching agent used to make wheat flour white, but was discontinued in 1949 after it was shown to cause "running fits" in dogs.

"¢ Despite all this, bread has always been exceptional popular. In some cases shortages were met with riots.

"¢ But is is art? This artist explores creative uses of bread in a way you are undoubtedly not allowed to sink your teeth into.

"¢ Like the mystery of a ship in a bottle, how is the pocket in pita bread created? Steam! It's not hard to do ... as long as the bread doesn't think itself a bun. Then you are in trouble!

"¢ In the category of "what the heck?" here's this bread-related headline: "Bread allegedly sold as crack leads to arrest."

"¢ Finally, a historical note on the croissant, an oft-favored bread: "According to legend, a baker alerted the forces of Vienna to the approach of the Turks in the siege of 1683. The bakers commemorated the Viennese victory with a crescent-shaped roll, precursor to the croissant, as the symbol of the Turks was a crescent..."

Do any of you Flossers bake your own bread? The discussion could be endless about great bread and what to pair it with. Suffice to say I eat plenty of different kinds and indulge at least once a day! I can't imagine how, but doesn't anyone hate bread?

More food, fun and frivolity can be found on my Twitter.

Hungry for more? Venture into the Dietribes archive.

"˜Dietribes' appears every other Wednesday. Food photos taken by Johanna Beyenbach You might remember that name from our post about her colorful diet.

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July 15, 2009 - 6:40am
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