There is the history and culture of peoples from every corner of the globe enclosed in the smell of bread. Once we understood how wheat was transformed into flour and fire into heat, bread became a companion in the life and evolution of society, a witness to faith and struggles. Each people with its own specialities, synonymous with the differentiation between one culture and another, but also an indissoluble affinity.
Today, bread is still a fundamental element of our culture and cuisine. Bread tells us about where we come from and where we are going. Bread makes us discover old and new flavours, restores us and makes us understand the power of the meeting of the elements in our lives.
From the earliest evidence of the Neolithic period, with coarsely shredded wheat and water covered in ash, it was the Egyptians who realised the potential of flour, which when mixed with water and left to ferment could produce a surprisingly voluminous result, at the time perhaps almost a spell. From there, it was a relentless work of research and fortuitous discoveries, of mixtures of ingredients that were part of each people's culture to give different textures and nourishment: lard, oil, milk, different grains according to the crops available. Yeast became indispensable for some breads, while others preferred to keep themselves flat.
But bread is not only a food to be eaten, bread is also a food to be experienced, the protagonist of a culinary journey, bringing us into contact with the culture, people, environment and activities of a destination.
If eating and trying the typicalities of a place we visit has increasingly become one of the forms of immersion in the everyday life of a destination, bread offers us the most sincere and primary version of the ways of eating of a city, of a territory.
Visit local bakeries to see how bread is made using traditional methods and ingredients, taste the different types fresh from the oven or take a product home as a souvenir.
Or take a bread-making course, to understand the process and the wonder of the birth of a loaf of bread.
But one must never forget that bread is the perfect accompaniment to try an oil, a typical sauce, with its fragrant or soft neutrality allowing spices and textures of other dishes to be enhanced.
Bread is more than a food. Bread is a cultural fact that connects us across time and space and expresses the identity and diversity of peoples. Bread is nourishment and pleasure, life and spirituality.
Trying bread is a stop that should never be missing from the travel diary of a curious traveller.
What is the perfect combination you imagine with bread? What corner of the world comes to mind when you think of bread?
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