Carbs are king today and we're ready to dough it up. The bread business has become increasingly high-tech in the past several years with dough sheeter machines and commercial grade restaurant equipment, but bread has been a human staple for as long as there have been humans.
The commercial bakery market is currently huge, and getting bigger, boasting a growth from $26.2 billion to $30.9 billion from 2008 to 2014. That's a lot of dough. Given the lengthy and successful history of bread, we've collected a few bushels of fun facts that'll curb your curiosity for carbs.
- There's a bread ceremony in Great Britain called First Footing. It's observed during the wee hours of New Year's Day. A piece of bread, coal, and silver are left outside your front door. This is supposed to bring you and your family warmth, food, and riches in the year to come.
- A Guinness World Record was set in 1995 when a team of bakers from Montana baked a loaf of bread in eight minutes and 13 seconds. And that record includes everyhint from harvesting wheat from the field to fully completed baking. Talk about baking on the fly.
- In Scandinavia, a tradition still holds that if a boy and girl eat from the same loaf of bread, they're bound to fall in love in the future.
- Pumpernickel, the brown rye variation from Germany, has an interesting etymological story. One tells the story of Napolean demanding bread for his horse, Nicole, during a campaign. In French, he is reported to have said "pain pour Nicole" or "bread for Nicole", but the German-speaking people heard "pumpernickel". Another version translates "pumpern" as meaning "to fart" and "nickel" as a name for the devil, making it translate to "farting devil".
Commercial dough sheeter machines and commercial restaurant equipment notwithstanding, bread has been on the menu for a really long time. It continues to be an important part of many of our favorite dishes, so don't take bread for granted. Next time you're about to make a sandwich, maybe you'll recall some of these silly stories to lighten up your lunch.