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Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Bread-Pain-Brot.....

Everybody eats it in some form or another....
Jedermann esst es im Irgendeiner Form...
Tout le monde le mange - d'un façon ou l'autre... 
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"Bread....of life"...almost every country in the world has this or a similar statement in it's language.
That's because it is the most simple and basic of products, and probable the oldest, apart from eating grass or seeds, and nobody EVER enjoyed doing that!
There are so many different types of bread world wide that one could never list them completely...everyone has their own favourite, some being rather strange for one person but totally normal for others.
I come originally from a country, the UK, which - like USA, has main consumption of bread in the form of what could be called "plastic".
Now this stuff comes in all forms as well, but mainly tasteless, thick sliced, thin sliced, mainly rectangular, but sometimes oval or round, white or brown and even black....!
It's main advantage is that it can be compressed by simple hand power to around a fifth of its normal size, and can therefore be stocked - space savingly - in the freezer. When it's taken out, it springs back to its original shape, like "memory plastics". Whilst this stuff has little or no taste, it would be unthinkable to go through life without it.
No sandwiches, no toast, the British Commonwealth at least would succumb! No bacon butties for breakfast, lunch and tea - daily...Life wouldn't be worth living!
Now - of course one can make sandwiches from all kinds of bread, but the traditional one, with or without crusts, is the product which springs mainly to mind.
Possibly France is an exception, again....Here the sandwich can also be expressed by the simple words "Jambon...beurre" - an invention of the City of Paris, where (as in most of France) the words "Jambon-Beurre" quite simply mean a sandwich, of varying lengths from a few inches   to a few feet. Bread, cut lengthways, spread with butter (beurre) and laid with cooked ham (jambon) it is the French answer to British egg and chips...................................! 
A relatively new addition are the immensely varied "Toasted sandwiches" designed, I beleive, to try to reproduce the "crispiness" of crusty bread sandwiches, and it works quite well. Strangely enough - even here the French use the same ingredients as in "Jambon-Beurre" with the addition of sliced cheese, and they call this staple student meal "Croque Monsieur" - a snack available all over France, and most households have their own little electric machine which makes them!
Now, of course bread is not just for sandwich making....far from it!
Made up of the ingredients necessary for life, it is usable in all aspects of life. Flour or other grained cereals, more or less ground, mixed with liquids, generally water but also milk, wine, and other liquids the mixtures are "raised" (with yeast) or presented in the forms of  unleavened (without yeast) - soda bread, bagels, buns, scones, and a multitude of other preparations - All classed within "Bread products" category.
A necessity for living, and occasionally an article of "de luxe" - but also occasionally an article the most horrible and inedible that exists!
I personally don't really have a favourite, I like and eat most of the varieties, but I am always glad to have had and still have the pleasure- immense pleasure- of having access to the famous French "baguette" - and to having had the pleasure of eating the German "halbweisse" amongst others.
French breads...
Actually, I'm not too sure which of the two countries, France or Germany are entitled to wear the crown for "producers of the World's best and most varied Bread" - it is a close race.
German Breads.

I think, for me personally, the Germans just take it on the basis of the enormous variety available everywhere, whereas in France, although the same variety is available, it tends not to be available EVERYWHERE - as in Germany. 
One thing is sure...they BOTH produce what, for me, is the worst bread I have EVER eaten (although I'm sure it's an "acquired taste"). It's called "Pumpernickel Bread" - Each slice weighs half a ton, and formally announces it's presence in your stomach with a solid "thump" on landing! 
Just about edible fresh out of the oven, it is invariably served YEARS later...in little square packs You don't get many slices in a 1 Kilo (2 lbs) pack!
It is reputed to be extremely efficace against "runny tummy's" and I beleive it...You only risk breaking the toilet bowl later on - after giving birth!
I haven't mentioned much about British bread, apart from the plastic variety, so  - just to put the record straight - they DO make bread in Britain...some of it good, some of it awful - just like the British Cooking in general.
I'm occasionally inclined to ask myself if the most produced, sold and consumed bread in Britain is the plastic kinf because it's so ideal for making something which actuall is a delicious little treat now and then, originating from Britain....



The one and only - truly original and delicious now and then -  FRESH from the oven:
BREAD AND BUTTER PUDDING..
So - having, hopefully, appeased my British readers, let me hasten to say that the USA is 
roughly the same as elsewhere...with possibly Bagels and buns (for hamburgers and hot dogs) and corn meal bread being higher on the list, and the various Mexican preparations of bread coming in very popularly.
Mexican breads.

So there we are - a short world tour of the "painful" world of bread...something it's almost guaranteed you'll be eating again today....!
Just a final word.....
The Germans often call their National drink - Beer - "Liquid bread" - it's a mark of respect, because German beer, like German bread is made, by law, of the natural products strictly laid down in each case by a variety of different laws.
So......go have a pint of bread.......

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(iwmpop) mr le Marquis              -             Vauvert, France                    -         Mars 2011



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******* iwmpop (mr le marquis)- Vauvert, France - Janvier 2011