(Roughly) Daily

“All sorrows are less with bread”*…

 

0301_breadend

 

Bread is not a new product, and it’s always had an outer shell of sorts. And the concept of the “heel of the loaf” seems to date to at least the 14th century, per the Oxford English Dictionary. But the industrial revolution changed the overall design of bread loaves, and made what was once a secondary element, the ends, into a more central feature. Thanks to his invention of a bread slicing machine, Otto Frederick Rohwedder [see this earlier (R)D for his story] ensured that the world‘s relationship with bread would change significantly in the 20th century…

There often was little consideration given to the ends, which don’t look as good nor as consistent. In a world of order and consistency, they represented a reminder that chaos was just around the corner. If Apple were to start developing its own loaves of bread, the end pieces would be first to go.

The problem of heel pieces is particularly notable in commercial contexts, where the need for appearances takes on a bigger role. This has been a longstanding problem for the field, though there are individual cases where some have turned this disadvantage into an advantage. In a 1922 piece for Cafeteria Management, a manager for a Chicago cafeteria of Alfred Weeghman Corp. noted that his company saved money by treating the end pieces as special [as discrds, to be used as ingredients in puddings or other items of lesser value)…

In some circles—especially for young children—the crust is a controversial element, and the end pieces, if nothing else, are all crust. As a result, there’s always been something of an interest in some circles of making the crusts of bread less prominent. For the 8-year-olds in your world who won’t eat anything, sandwich cutters are easy to find.

One prominent Texas grocery store chain, H-E-B, even sells a crustless white bread, because we like order and nothing screams order like bread without any crust attached.

But for crust haters, it’s worth asking: Are they missing out? As far back as 1763, a writer named Nicholas Robinson felt compelled to write an unusual text discussing the health benefits of eating “a crust of bread” first thing in the morning—rather than in the evening…

Why are the heel pieces, or end pieces, of bread seen as undesirable compared to the rest of the loaf—and what kind of waste does that create, anyway?  The ever-illuminating Ernie Smith (@ShortFormErnie) faces up to the “Bread End.”

* Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

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As we embrace the ends, we might send bubbly birthday greetings to Johann Jacob Schweppe; he was born on this date in 1740.  A watchmaker and amateur scientist, he developed the first practical process for the manufacture of bottled carbonated mineral water, based on a process discovered by Joseph Priestley in 1767.  His company, Schweppes (later Cadbury Schweppes, now Keurig Dr Pepper) graciously acknowledges Priestley as “the father of our industry.”

1783_Johann_Jacob_Schweppe

Jacob Schweppe

source

 

Written by LW

March 16, 2020 at 12:01 am

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