Bread is Essential in Life
People rely on food to nourish their physical bodies. Still, in the case of Boudin Bakery, which is the oldest continuously operating business in San Francisco, California, food may also nourish your soul by putting a smile on your face as this bakery makes sourdough teddy bears that it sells to their customers. While bakers use sourdough bread to make this teddy bear, other breads around the world have cultural importance. Many new moms would probably be very glad to have a sourdough teddy bear. Bread plays a vital role in many different cultures.
Chefs bake bread for many unique occasions. If you attend a wedding in Ukraine, then you are likely to see a beautiful circular loaf of korovai placed near the altar. This bread is so beautiful that you mistake it for a wedding cake because of its flower decorations. This bread is made by seven women who are happily married for the first time, and it takes them a week to prepare the dough while they sing special folk songs believed to bring luck to the couple who are about to be married. This bread is usually decorated with symbolic stalks of wheat to show a secure connection between the couple, with rose designs to symbolize beauty and with a wreath of periwinkle to bring financial prosperity. Baking special loaves of bread for weddings is also a tradition in Russia, Poland, Bulgaria, and Romania.
Not all loaves of bread, however, are baked for joyous occasions. In Romania, cooks prepare a special colaci bread when someone dies. Chefs put a special sweet filling in this bread that is also served at Christmas and during other special holidays. The mourners carry this circular bread with the coffin to the graveside. Then, mourners break and eat the bread together. Mourners leave any uneaten bread at the graveside for the workers who cover the coffin with dirt.
Historians believe that chefs baked the first loaf of bread about 8000 BC, and bread has played an essential role in many cultural celebrations since that time. While different cultures use bread in different ways, it seems that bread really is essential.