Which country consumes the most bread?
Diet: Different countries, different breads
Different countries, different breads - the facets of body-and-stomach culture have a long history. "Back then, as now, bread was one of the most important staple foods in many places," says Andrea Fadani, director of the Museum for Bread Culture in Ulm.
Accordingly, many nations developed their own specialties, often for geographic and historical reasons - although not always equally appreciated everywhere. Even today, the slightly sour taste of rye bread is far from being liked in every country. The Germans, however, rarely go long without their beloved local bread.
“The German bread culture is shaped not only by rye, but above all by the wide range of varieties that has grown over the centuries,” says Bernd Kütscher, Director of the Academy of German Bakers' Crafts in Weinheim. Not only the good conditions in terms of climate and soil helped, but also the central location of Germany and the small states in the Middle Ages. The register of the central bakers' association, to which the academy is affiliated, contains over 3000 recipes. “And we're still collecting,” says Kütscher.
Variety in ancient Egypt
However, the first breads were baked by the ancient Egyptians, back then on a hot stone. “That was six thousand years ago,” says Fadani. In the temple city of Luxor, hieroglyphs testify that even the pharaohs did not believe in dough and knew 30 different variations.
Still typical in North Africa: the flatbread, consisting primarily of flour, a little yeast and water. It has now spread far beyond Egypt's borders - but with regional peculiarities.
In India or Pakistan, people swear by spiced chapati or thicker and milder naan, made from sourdough and yeast, sometimes with yogurt or other ingredients. In Turkey, on the other hand, on pide made from yeast dough.
No meal without bread
In the Arabian Peninsula, Lebanon, Jordan or Syria, on the other hand, Chubz is on the table. "We eat our flatbread in the morning, at noon and in the evening," says Hassan Kenj, owner of the Golden Bakery in Berlin and a native of Syria: "We don't have a meal without bread."
And so Arab countries like Egypt are at the forefront when it comes to consumption - “There, the annual bread consumption per inhabitant is 150 to 180 kilos,” says Fadani. For comparison: According to Fadani, in Poland or Russia it is a good 100 kilos, in Germany 86 kilos, in Italy or France 60 kilos.
More than just food: In France, the baguette also stands for a piece of Francophile lifestyle - at least for us. The dimensions are strictly determined from above: the length between 50 and 100 centimeters, the diameter between six and eight centimeters. This is also due to the long-term fixed bread price.
Stolen long bread
Despite diligent care of the landmark made of crispy crust and flaky crumb, it was once only stolen. "In 1815, the French discovered the elongated baguette during the Congress of Vienna in the local courtyard bakery," says Fadani.
From Italy, many German bakeries in this country now also sell the ciabatta, translated: slipper, according to the shape. The fluffy wheat bread, which is not easily pronounced as Tschabatta, has become more popular in this country than in the country of origin, despite all the phonetic adversities.
After all, it was only developed there in 1982 by a resourceful baker who also had it trademarked right away. In Italy, however, it is only one of many between the domestic competitors, after all, the ancient Romans were already considered baking virtuosos. The focaccia from Liguria, for example, has an older story, as the Etruscans are said to have already prepared this spicy yeast dough flatbread.
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