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Tuesday, July 27 • 12:00pm - 12:30pm
Introductory History of Bread

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The last decade has seen an explosion of new insights into the history of bread from archeologists and geneticists. I will share with you the most exciting of this material: the latest on a 14,400 year old bread created by hunter gatherers in what is today’s Syria, how grain genetics reveals the true story of the ancient grains, and what archeology and cookbooks reveal about levels of flour refinement in historic breads. Bread is inextricably tied to culture. Yeast versus sourdough. This is seen today as a dichotomy, and many of us care. What does history say about the use of yeast and sourdough, and what people thought about each in different times and places. Of course, the big story of bread is that bread was the revolutionary invention that created the modern world. Bread is the agent that turned settlements into villages, villages into cities, and cities into empires. It is true that bread built the pyramids. It is also true that bread enabled the British to conquer India. All of us working on bread — farmers, millers, and bakers — are engaged in producing the one product that, above all others, is credited with regional and global civilizations. In this short history I will do my best to make bread’s story as vivid as possible. My goal is for you to leave this talk with a better fact-base regarding the history of bread, with you feeling your place in its history, and with you feeling more inspired than ever to continue your part in moving bread in new directions.

avatar for William Rubel

William Rubel

William Rubel has been making bread since he was eleven years old. For decades, he has been studying the history of bread, and examining where traditional foodways and culinary history intersect.William travels the world studying food customs and gathering recipes.Inspired by the... Read More →

Tuesday July 27, 2021 12:00pm - 12:30pm EDT