There are few more evocative words than bread in almost any language. From the Lord’s prayer in the Bible to Marie Antoinette’s unfortunate “Let them eat bread” comment (which she apparently did not make) to Indira Gandhi’s “Roti Kapad aur Makan” slogan and that of many other politicians, the word “bread” has the ability to drive humans to contemplation or a frenzy. The reason for this power is the deep association of bread with our prosperity and our existence.
Bread of course is almost always made from wheat. This complex and intelligent plant domesticated us, the restless hairless ape, in the Fertile Crescent area about ten thousand years ago. It forced us to settle down, plough fields and build cities in return for the promise of plentiful bread. The first wheats were the products of the union of two different types of grasses that produced plentiful and large seeds. The wheats that