Bakeries are so ingrained in our culture than we don’t blink at every corner shop. We don’t question every time we salivate at the scent of warm, freshly baked goods. Ever since the rise of the Roman Empire, the occupation of the baker has become a widely respected position. The production of bread has been greatly significant throughout history, ever since civilizations learned to harvest gain, grind it into flour, knead and roll dough, and bake it into thick, fluffy loafs. Bread is embedded in every culture, can be a side-piece to every meal, nourishing the poor and indulging the rich.

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From the numerous cultural traditions in the world comes all the many different types of bread: from Middle Eastern pita bread to Irish Soda Bread, the kinds of flat-breads from all over Europe, Native American corn bread to Chilean potato bread. Austrian kaiser rolls have been around since the 1700s. Sourdough bread can be part of a healthy breakfast. Buns and bagels are popular in the fast-food business, daily pick-me-ups for the busybodies. Each type come with its own method of baking, of twisting and shaping the dough, of eating it along with meals. Even though bread has evolved to be today’s quick, processed, sliced bread, the tradition of bread-making is still evident in our food culture.

In addition to bread, bakeries have grown in the variety of delicacies and treats. Quick breads are made differently from normal bread, in a way that is fast and similar to the process of making cake, allowing for a quick meal or snack that can be sweet or savory. Sweet desserts like cake, another modification of bread, have been a long-lasting art ranging from simple recipes to the most complex methods. Cakes are a huge part of celebration in all societies, served at weddings, birthday parties, and anniversaries. There is an infinite list of varieties depending on the texture, from spongy to thick and dense. Cakes, cupcakes, donuts, and other treats are a new wave of baked goods that are truly an art style. Frosting and decorating has become a specialized occupation for skilled hands to literally make these baked goods into art.

Flakey French croissants are the perfect addition to a wholesome breakfast. Brownies, whether gooey or riddled with chocolate chunks, are a deliciously fudgey after-dinner dessert. Scones, originating from England, are fit for a filling, tea-time snack. Tarts, pies, and cheesecake are rich and delicate. Muffins can be made in so many flavors, be it cinnamon-raisin, blueberry, chocolate, or banana-nut. All of these creations and more have allowed bakery businesses to boom, serving the public with high quality confections and specialized catering for events.

Bakeries and their endless production of beautiful, satiating goods have been around since the beginning of civilization, feeding the hungry and adding a bit of sweetness to life. No matter how much meat and vegetables people have, baked goods are important for the soul to flourish, and they will always be a part of our cuisine.

By Papa