An essential good and probably one of the widest spread foods around the world, yet different in so many regions. Looking at just Europe, you would find various dark breads especially in Northern Europe, having Scandinavia as forerunner for barley, rye, wheat and oat breads. Four grain types dominated the north since the prehistoric era (before 1000 AD). It is said that Germany prides itself on having the largest variety of breads worldwide. More than 300 basic kinds of bread are produced with more than 1,000 types of small bread-rolls and pastries provided by over 13.000 bakeries country wide. Germans are worldwide the biggest consumers (per capita) of bread, followed by Chile. French produce a lot of white bread, such as the rather sweet „pain de mie“ used for sandwiches or toasts, and the baguette, a long thin loaf (approx. 5-6cm in diameter and 65cm length) made from basic lean dough. In the Czech Republic in example, you would find mainly bread made from sourdough, which is made by the fermentation of dough using naturally-occurring lactobacilli and yeast. Its name tells it mildly sour taste not very common for most breads. Italy represents a long tradition for bread making with widely different recipes from north to south. Sfilatino Imbottito, famous Focaccia, and Pizza Bianca just to name a few. In Spain, there have been guilds of bakers for over 750 years. One of the oldest was founded in Barcelona around 12000 AD. Located in the province of Zamora, there is a region called Tierra del pan („Land of the bread“), guess what industry was dominating down there!? And did you know that bakers in Iceland bake rye breads in hot springs and also serve stock fish as a substitute for bread, eaten with butter on the side with almost every meal. Of course, there are so many more cultures that refined this ordinary craft, one thing is for sure..we hardly live without it!

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