Breaking

Bread

Breaking Bread

The Great Unifier

Bread is a uniquely universal food. As a staple, its existence across cultures is unparalleled. Its adaptability, variety in form, and simplicity have served it well as a ubiquitous food – almost every culture around the world has a native form of bread. Yet its universality is often taken for granted, not doing justice to bread’s complexity, both in making it and as a part of culture. As S. Brent Plate notes in his book A History of Religion in 5 ½ Objects, bread’s place as a staple food around the world means that the production of bread, in all its forms, is somewhat of a prerequisite for a successful society, yet “there are no staple foods that are more elaborately made”. The complexity of making bread, where any minute adjustment in ingredients or baking method will render a completely different product, is a convenient metaphor for bread’s complex interactions with cultures around the world, as well as the various cultural markers that bread itself has engendered – just as anthropologists and historians regard culture as a sign of humanity’s complex thoughts and emotions, so bread is a “human invention, bound up with hard work and the establishment of civilized life”.  

Through this exhibit, we hope to introduce the foundational role that bread has played throughout history, as a cultural object and a culinary fixture in societies around the world. We look to the world’s societies and cultures to portray bread as a symbol of intercultural connections, religion, culture, and society across the globe.  

Explore Exhibit

History of Bread

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Society and Religion

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Making Bread

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Coquitlam Heritage Society at Mackin House

1116 Brunette Avenue
Coquitlam, British Columbia
V3K 1G2

Visit the exhibition

Dates:
Location: Mackin House at 1116 Brunette Ave, Coquitlam, BC, V3K 1G2

Admission free.