From Baguettes to Naan: What's in the World's Bread Baskets?
Bread has for a long time been an essential part of the human diet, enjoyed at various times of the day and topped with everything from a simple spread of butter to a stack of cheese and cold cuts and everything in between. Bread — in all its different forms — is actually the most widely consumed food in the whole world, according to the History Channel. The reason? It is a portable and compact source of carbohydrates, and has been a part of the human diet for at least 30,000 years, according to research.
What first was just a mix of water and grains consumed by our prehistoric ancestors was then cooked into a solid chunk by frying it on stones, a 2010 study by the National Academy of Sciences revealed. Clearly, bread has changed in many ways since our ancestors’ ancient innovation. Refined flour, yeast or baking powder, water, and salt are some of the major components that make up the most common idea of what bread is today: a fluffy loaf, very different from the grainy flatbread that first was created.
Bread, though, is much more than toast. Around the world, there are many different types of bread, used in different ways and eaten at different times of the day. In Brazil, pão de queijo, small, round, cheese-stuffed bread balls, are traditionally served for breakfast. In Finland, a very dark rye bread, made of 100 percent rye flour, is a staple part of the diet, and it's eaten as breakfast, a snack, or together with a meal. If you're visiting Jamaica, you might want to try the bammy, a bread made from cassava, typically eaten together with fish at breakfast.
To see what kinds of bread people around the world are eating, from iconic French baguettes to arepas in Venezuela, click through our slideshow of 10 different breads from around the world.