Bread -- the staff of life -- is probably
the most ancient food that is still part of the modern diet.
The longest bread on record in the United States was baked
in 1987, and was 2,357 feet 10 inches long. That's almost
half a mile. When it comes to bread, humans will try almost
anything. Actually, when it comes to anything, humans will
try almost anything.
Throughout the history of Western civilization, bread has
played a major role in the development of agriculture, economics,
science, politics and religion. It sits at the center of
our tables and at the heart of our cherished rituals. Breaking
bread is not only the way we begin our meals. It is also
a focus for expressing gratefulness for the food at hand.
Bread is such a basic part of our social lives that it is
even another name for money. And the varieties and shapes
reflect the diversity of world culture: Jewish challah, Russian
rye, German pumpernickel, French baguettes, Italian focaccia,
Irish soda, Arabian pita, Indian chapati, Mexican tortilla.
Each of these, with their unique flavors and forms, celebrate
our differences and serve as the foundation for meals that
nourish body and soul.