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  1. November 2, 2009 at 6:37 AM

    Wow! This has brought back all kinds of happy memories of my childhood in Germany and going to the baker’s to buy gingerbread men and admire the cute houses displayed in the window. How do you find the time to write these informative posts?!

  2. November 2, 2009 at 6:55 AM

    Wonderful post about baked goods around the world! I would love to try the Day of the dead bread, thanks for the recipe! And thanks so much for the link to my hamentaschen post!

  3. November 2, 2009 at 7:37 AM

    I love pan de muerto!It is absolutely delicious! Great post as usual 🙂

  4. November 2, 2009 at 8:21 AM

    What a gorgeous post! It’s wonderful to see how different cultures/religions have their own take on breads but it is something that brings us together.

  5. November 2, 2009 at 11:02 AM

    The pan de muerto is great, I have a friend that bakes it- it’s so nice that you post recipes for some of these delicious things. There is just so much wonderful baking and holiday tradition from around the globe. It’s nice to read such detailed info about how other cultures celebrate with a simple food that we all share.

  6. November 2, 2009 at 1:02 PM

    I saw Rosco de Reyes for the first time in Seville last winter. Getting very excited for Gingerbread time! Its amazing how each culture seems to have some sort of variation of “bread” and the rich histories about them are equally interesting and amazing.

    Day of the Dead almost went by without me knowing today – Mexico is so underrepresented here!

    I have never been to New Orleans, but have always wanted to go (especially for Mardi Gras). Must make sure I go, if only to try that bread from the source. Will travel for bread!

  7. November 2, 2009 at 4:11 PM

    I don’t think I need to tell you how much I love bread of any kind. I love king cakes, too. Especially when one finds the little baby. It’s always funny to see people picking their piece apart before eating it.

  8. November 2, 2009 at 7:15 PM

    I loved this! I have heard of almost all the breads here except those very realistic ones from Thailand. Creepy! I always had animal crackers at my Grandparents – those and cracker jacks – two treats I didn’t get at home. Happy memories.

  9. November 3, 2009 at 12:05 AM

    Pan de muerto is something never tasted before. It’d be nice to find a bakery with one.

  10. November 3, 2009 at 12:36 AM

    I was surprised to see animal crackers in there!
    I’ve tried Pan de muerto before, but wasn’t very impressed…I didn’t really care for the fluffy, airy texture.
    But yes– bread is freaking awesome. It is life!

  11. admin
    November 3, 2009 at 6:34 AM

    Helen – Thanks, I can only imagine what a special time it was to find and have that German ginger bread.

    Natasha – my pleasure

    Erica – =)

    Claudia – I agree it is fascinating, and I’d love to have added which culture affected the other, etc I’d have either have had a book or a topic for a second post. After I hit the “publish” button I thought of a host of other cultures that have multi-purpose bread as well.

    Lisa – I agree baking is such a wonderful bonding activity and to see the broader signifigance of it only makes it more special

    Gastro – I envy your close proximity to great sources of ginger bread. I know there was a Mexican food event at, I think the British History Museum, did you go?

    Jenn =)

    Reeni – I agree that bread was a bit creepy, but I was in awe of the talent.

    Duo – I bet you should find a bakery with relative ease in SoCal – my fingers are crossed for you.

    Sophia – sometimes its the stuff under your nose.

  12. November 3, 2009 at 7:41 AM

    How delightful, I love all of these symbolic breads. I didn’t know the stories about most of them, thank you for such an informative article! I hope you continue this piece and go on to Italy and England. My favorites are hot cross buns (my mom makes them every Easter) and panetone at Christmas (a side effect of living near North Beach most of my life). My childhood favorite remains circus animal cookies, with the pink and white icing!

  13. November 3, 2009 at 9:42 AM

    I didn’t know one could do so much with bread. The saffron St. Lucia buns are on my to-do list. The body parts are very interesting…amazing what people think of!

  14. November 3, 2009 at 10:20 PM

    Oh my gawd. I’ve never seen the bread body parts before. It’s both unnerving and awe-inspiring at the same time.

  15. November 3, 2009 at 10:49 PM

    I think bread is my favorite food topic. My previous work in a bakery created a fondness for it. I especially love the information about the gingerbread. And those animal crackers were my treat each time I went to the supermarket with my mom. Such great memories they bring.

  16. admin
    November 4, 2009 at 6:43 AM

    Heather – I already have enough ideas for a part 2 and Italy is definitely included along with Sweden. I’d really like to set it up so that its easier to see how one culture influenced another, but alas that fine balance of time and effort may get in the way.

    Crystal – I love saffron laced breads, and that one does sound tasty

    Carolyn – It was freaky, but I was in awe of his talents. I for one have never thought to turn my bread into body parts – some people just have so much creativity.

    Lori – I felt compelled to add the animal crackers for the nostalgia factor alone, but I have to say that ginger bread at some point will get its own post, what with the history of the spice route and just the incredible creativity around its use.

  17. November 5, 2009 at 7:22 AM

    As I read about Rosca de Reyes, I wondered if you’d include King cake, and of course you did! It’s so interesting to see the similarities between different customs and celebrations. This was a fun read.

  18. November 5, 2009 at 11:00 AM

    I love bread! It’s interesting to note that with the exception of the Thai breads (very dismaying and not quite the thing to whet the appetite), there are few instances of the bread symbolism from Asia, although there are pastries that carry important meanings. I would’ve had a pan de muerta this past weekend but I stuffed myself silly with lengua tacos and didn’t leave any room! Thank goodness there are other bread-related holidays to come . . .

  19. November 5, 2009 at 3:52 PM

    Just another great post! It’s great to learn the role of bread in different cultures and interesting to learn how it is related to death and diseased ones. But I still can’t understand why people want to give the shape of human body or its parts to their bread, definitely disturbing.

    Bread is so important in Turkish culture that even if it goes bad, throwing it away is thought to be a kind of sin. And if someone sees a piece of bread on the street, he is supposed to take it kiss it and put it on his forehead, repeat this three times and then put the bread on a wall or on something high. This shows that bread has undoubtly a different place in our culture.

  20. November 5, 2009 at 4:14 PM

    Pan-Bread is a gift of the Gods! Now matter the culture is essential! Terrific post showing us different breads across diverse cultures.. mmm I can eat all of them…..and need to make a triathlon to compensate 🙂

    Cheers!

    Gera

  21. November 5, 2009 at 5:15 PM

    What a feast of bread and culture! I had some vague awareness of the significance and history of gingerbread but you’ve filled in a lot of blanks for me. Another bread of religious significance here would be hot cross buns – sweet yeasted rolls that have a pastry cross on top and are served at Easter as a reminder of the events that Easter commemorates. I actually see that hot cross buns are available year-round here now which somehow seems wrong to me!

  22. admin
    November 5, 2009 at 8:21 PM

    Lisa – Thanks =)

    TN – Agreed, thank goodness for the opportunity to opportunity/excuse to sample breads that the holidays provide. To your point about lack of bread examples in Asia, agreed, none really come to mind. You are right, there are certainly a lot of pastries with mean, like the mooncakes that I recently wrote about http://oysterfoodandculture.com/2009/10/03/giving-thanks-with-mooncakes

    DS – Thanks, I agree, there are so many options, and you are right, hot cross buns is a great example, there are just so many out there, that I may need to do a second post.

  23. November 8, 2009 at 1:28 AM

    Thank you for sharing the different types of breads around the work. You are soooo funny about the Animal Crackers, hehehe!

    I think my favorite in this list is the Jewish one. It looks soo good. I wonder if someone can make it for me.

    This is worth all the read. Thanks for sharing!

    I love all the wealth of information on your site.

  24. November 8, 2009 at 5:04 PM

    Great post, LouAnn. There are several other symbolic/ceremonial uses of bread that I can think of: the significance of unleavened bread and the so-called “shew bread” as part of the Temple accoutrements in the Jewish tradition, the kind of bread originally used in the Eucharist, etc. Fascinating topic.

  25. November 9, 2009 at 4:27 AM

    Oh, I believe that gingerbread men are so popular in Australia that every kid would have eaten once at least, maybe some are addictive to this bread.

  26. admin
    November 9, 2009 at 9:39 AM

    Ryan – I had a lot of fun and could certainly kept going on the varieties.

    Leela – Thanks. I agree, there are just too many takes, and I was afraid of getting into a monster post, but there is plenty of topics for future posts. It is fascinating and as Tangled Noodle pointed out Asian bread does not immediately come to mind – why is that ?

    Christine – I think I am addicted to ginger bread, its just so darn tasty and good for you too!

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