bread as a utensil

969
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Joined Jul 3, 2002
I'm looking for written information on how different cultures and culinary traditions have used and/or currently do use breads in place or in addition to utensils for eating. I have a feeling some cookbooks probably have short introductory sections that discuss this, but I don't know which. I'm especially curious about one--I think it's on flatbreads, but I'm not sure. It's written by a male/female couple, and I remember hearing them interviewed, but that's all I remember.
And I wasn't sure which forum made sense since this question isn't just about historical use or really about baking. So I chose this one as a compromise.

Any thoughts? :)
 

isa

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Joined Apr 4, 2000
From your description it sounds a lot like this book:


Flatbreads and flavors: A baker's atlas
by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid
 
846
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Joined Nov 29, 2001
The Greeks and middle-easterners use pita to scoop so many things. The Indians use those beautiful flat breads with curries. My dad (born in Naples, Italy) had a name for the action of collecting juices from a plate with a piece of bread: scarpette. Translated: Scraping a shoe. Not very appetizing but it kind of fits. :rolleyes:
 

phatch

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Staff member
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Don't forget the tortilla.

I think you could make an argument for sandwiches in that category too

phil
 
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Joined Dec 4, 2002
:bounce:

Ohh, I like that. The tortilla is one of my favorites. The Eithiopian Injera(?) always intrigued me. I personally use forms of tortillas, arepas and pitas all the time.

How 'bout pizza? Talk about origins! And I think Phatch has a valid point with the "sandwich."

That looks like a book to own. Yum!:)
 
969
12
Joined Jul 3, 2002
Isa--You're amazing. That IS the book I was trying to think of. Isa and Suzanne--Do either of you own it? I understand that they talk about their travels, but do they say anything about these culture's using the breads as utensils?
Suzanne--thanks for "trenchers." Yes, it does seem to be the "southern" climates that go for this. Maybe northern sauces aren't worth sopping up? Or perhaps quick access to potential weapons is more important. ;)
Chiff--I love your father's term! I'll search it further (it has a rather direct bearing on what I'm trying to pull together. Which, by the way, is definitely NOT a dissertation :eek: ).
Phil--I think the tortilla and sandwich idea is interesting. I'm looking for examples of breads used to pick up foods that other cultures might use forks and spoons for, but the history of tortillas and sandwiches might be some sort of semi-permanent accomodation for that, morphing into their own "food."

Thanks again for your help. As always, this site is a great information resource as well as good company. :D
 

isa

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Joined Apr 4, 2000
Phoebe,


I don't have the book, I've glanced at it a few times, looks very interesting. Not sure if they specifically talk about bread as utensil. I'll look it up next time I'm at the bookstore.

Alford & Duguid wrote two other books, Seduction of Rice and Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet, a great book on south east Asian food. I have this one and love it. Great text, georgous photos and good recipes.
 
3,853
12
Joined May 26, 2001
I've got all of their books -- so I'll look to see if they say anything about "bread as implement." All the books are WONDERFUL -- beautiful to look at, well-written (both text and recipes), and packed with information. The "Rice" book was worth getting just for the directions on cooking basmati and jasmine rices -- I never knew how to get them so delicious before.
 

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