National French Bread Day
Observed annually on March 21st, National French Bread Day is a holiday that isn’t celebrated in France—at least, not at the time of this writing but is celebrated by people all over the U.S. It’s a day on which people can grab a baguette or two and enjoy their French bread any way they want to do it. It can be enjoyed with a nice bowl of soup, made into French toast, or used to make a great sandwich. No matter how you celebrate this holiday, however, it’s a good day for people to examine their bread choices and maybe think of switching from store-bought to handmade bread.
A Brief History Of Bread
Even though we spent a considerable amount of time researching National French Bread Day, we just couldn’t locate who invented it or when they invented it. So we decided to instead focus on the history of bread and find out how it became such an important part of civilization. And to do that we have to go back over 10,000-years to the Middle East. In fact, many historians now believe that humans have been making bread for at least 30,000-years. If this is true, it would make it one of the oldest forms of food—even older than soup.
The earliest evidence of bread goes back to Ancient Egypt at around 8,000 BC. They used a grinding tool known as a quern-stone to hand grind grain. The flour would then be used to make a tortilla-like bread that was enjoyed by peasants and royalty alike. Bread making didn’t just occur in Egypt, however. People all throughout Asia and Europe began making bread around the same time or a little bit later than the Egyptians.
About 450 BC, the Romans invented water-milling—which made flour easier to make and allowed more people to make bread. Rich Romans preferred loaves of whiter bread, while the masses were left to enjoy bread made of coarser grains. The same was true in Medieval Europe. The noble classes loved white bread, while the poorer classes enjoyed bread made from bran or rye.
Even though no one knows when bread began to be made in France, the French baguette is believed to have been invented during the 18th century. It’s claimed that French baguettes were developed for Napoleon’s soldiers. Their shape was supposedly easier for the soldier to carry in special pockets in their uniforms.
Observing National French Bread Day
The best way for people to enjoy National French Bread Day is by picking up a couple of baguettes or taking the time to make their own French bread. Since French bread is extremely versatile, it can be used for a variety of different recipes. It can be used for making French bread pizzas, garlic bread, or a number of other recipes. And while you’re enjoying your French bread, be sure to use the hashtag #NationalFrenchBreadDay on your social media accounts to let everyone else know you’re celebrating this tasty holiday.