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BREAD
YESTERDAY AND TODAY

Your Daily Bread!
Bread is a nourishing food as old as civilization itself. Throughout history, bakers have experimented with bread, creating enticing new flavours and ever-inviting aromas. As one of life’s most basic foods, bread has become the very symbol of nourishment, which is why it's known as "the staff of life", and the reward for a hard day’s work, giving rise to the expression, "earning your daily bread".

The Early Rise of Bread
The origins of bread date back to around 3,000 B.C., when sourdough was baked in ovens. Sourdough was a type of leavened bread, rather than flat bread, an older style of bread baked without yeast.


Bake Like an Egyptian!
Egyptian hieroglyphics depict bakers preparing bread during the time of the pharaohs. At first, this bread was only made with flour, derived by grinding various grains with a rock and water.


A Mammoth Necessity!
Our ancestors, the brave mammoth hunters, already knew how to cook flat bread, which was an essential part of their diet during hunting excursions. Later, it was used to feed the children of Galilee when the Hebrews brought the recipe for bread from Egypt.


Doh! I Forgot…
Legend has it that leavened bread was invented when a woman accidentally left her dough in the open air. Since the forgotten dough had risen, she kneaded it before baking, which resulted in an airy texture, a satisfying taste, and the first leavened bread!


“What the People Want is Bread and Circuses.”
During the time of Caesar, bread was so highly valued that the Romans used it as a political instrument. In order to discourage revolt and appease the masses, bread was freely distributed to the poor during official circuses.


The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread!
Several centuries later, in the Middle Ages, bread and butter was a culinary innovation served as a food... and as a dish! The lord of the manor cut and ate meat on thick slices of bread called "trenchers".


The Bread of Quebec
According to history, Montreal’s first wheat crop was harvested around 1644. The fertile Montreal plain was blessed with rich soil and had the perfect climate for growing wheat.

The early settlers winnowed wheat by sifting it through a basket made from strips of wood to remove impurities before sending it to the mill, where the bags of grain were milled into “country flour.”

The native Indians prepared unleavened “bannock” by warming it in sand with hot stones to make it rise; then they draped it over a branch and cooked it over a fire.


1,2,3… White, Bran, Brown!
In the 17th and 18th centuries, white bread, made from fine wheat flour, was decidedly "upper crust"; then whitish-grey bran bread, made from coarse flour containing bran, enjoyed a rise in popularity; last, but not least, brown bread—known as the bread of the common folk—made from a blend of whole wheat and grains such as rye, became the favourite daily bread. Everything old is new again!


Bread Under the British
The British introduced new kinds of bread in the 19th century: pan bread,
milk bread, sweet bread and more. British taste in bread even had an influence on the habitant’s home-made bread.


Bread Today
The bread-making process was modernized during the 20th century, an era of rapid industrialization and technological progress. Even though bread production now incorporates such processes as slicing, packaging and labelling, bread-making basically remains the same: milling the flour, mixing and kneading the dough, leaving it to ferment and rise, followed by baking.


Bread’s Rising Future
Today, immigration and travel has expanded our cultural horizons and given us a taste of such international favourites as bagels, pitas, tortillas and more.

Bread has been a vital part of our daily lives, regardless of social class, race and religion. It has never ceased to amaze us with its ability to evolve and improve and has stayed fresh, generation after generation, by constantly re-inventing itself.

Today, bread plays a vital role in the health food scene and its future will be assured by our ongoing search for variety and quality, based on the growing trend towards health and well-being.

Tomorrow, bread will still be the foundation of the food pyramid… and the peak of good nutrition! Throughout the ages and around the world, the taste for simple sustenance has been constant: The taste for the wholesome, crusty goodness of bread. Any way you slice it, bread has a proud past and a promising future!


What’s Been Said About Bread…
• "I know which side my bread is buttered on." = I know where my interests lie.
• "To earn one’s daily bread" = To make a living.
• "I don’t have any bread." (slang) = I don’t have any money.
• "To cast one’s bread upon the waters" = To do well without expecting a reward.
• "Selling shoes is my bread and butter." = I make a living selling shoes.
• "The breadbasket of the country" = The grain-producing region of the country.
• "To have one’s bread buttered on both sides" = To benefit from two things at once.