Traditions - General Info Section
Bread, a basic nutrient in the French diet
Bread - 30,000-year old food!
Bread is part of French's everyday diet.
French will indeed tell you that you can't have a proper meal without it!
How would they eat their cheese, wipe off their plates or make the tartines they dunk in their café au lait?
Bread was 'invented' by our hunter-gatherer ancestors some 30,000 years ago!
However, 10,000 years ago, men started to grow wheat and barley.
They produced a type of flat bread, similar to the one still baked in many Mediterranean countries.
No need to tell you that we have had quite some time since to master our technique for producing perfect dough!
Middle Ages - Appearance of leavened bread
However, it was not before the Middle Ages that they started to produce leavened bread - which had been "invented" many centuries earlier though.
Why didn't we adopt it earlier!?
No one really knows…
Not only did it become an indispensable part of their diet, but they also cut large slices in order to make "plates" or trenchers.
Once the meal finished they gave the trenchers to the paupers… or to the dogs!
No dish-washing was involved!
The colour of the dough
The colour of dough evolved with society.
Until the late 20th century, wealthy people would only eat white bread.
On the other hand, the common people could only afford dark dough made from whole wheat flour.
The irony of this, is that whole wheat flour is much healthier as it has superior nutritional values.
Many French today stick to whole wheat flour because too many chemicals are added in order to obtain perfectly white flour!
The whole world thinks that French only eat Baguette.
Well, it is not entirely true!
We keep it for the tourists because it's what they expect to see in our boulangeries (bakeries).
But don't tell anyone…