Posted by: Orlick | September 18, 2007

Why do we break bread?

OK, I was told when I was a kid not to use a knife on bread, but to always break off a piece of it to eat. Is this just tradition or is there some practicality? That is my question I pose to myself. I will research it now.

I see there are a lot of etiquette rules (which I distaste etiquette for etiquette’s sake). One of the rules is not to bite the bread – interesting…
this is hard
Some origins of it may be that it soaks up the spread better with a rough surface.

Is this why??
Christian traditional societies (usually in poor communities), used to respect bread since Jesus symbolized his body with it. The sign of the cross was performed with the knife on the bread’s surface, before the loaf was cut. Sometimes it was considered a sin to desecrate bread (e.g., throw it away).

Sometimes the correct answer is the most obvious one.
I started a conversation on yelp and one answer of popular opinion and practicality is simply that using a knife crushes the bread and ruins its integrity. That could definitely be the answer… but wait, doesnt ripping it crush it still?

I love the french. The etiquette makes sense. I will use this space to bookmark for later
http://www.ediplomat.com/np/cultural_etiquette/ce_fr.htm

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