Breads from all around the world

by Sanjeev Kapoor

You may not believe this, but, the right choice of breads with the dish you have ordered plays a huge role in the dish being a success. With multiple cuisines around the world that come with different flavours, ingredients, and cooking styles, many people believe that bread is a 'staple' in most cuisines. The difference between the breads used in different cuisines is the preparation, display, texture, and ingredients that add flavour. For example, the bread usually eaten with an Indian curry is naan, roti, paratha, kulcha and more. When compared to a soup, the bread served with that is croutons, makes you wonder right?

Are you ready to dive a little deeper in to the bready world?


Mexico’s Tortilla:

This bread has gained popularity all over the world now, but, it did create its share of confusion amongst Indians. Because, Indians confused it with the good old rotis!It’s a funny story actually, as rotis and tortillas have almost the same shape and before having a corn version, tortillas were also made of wheat. These are widely used in making yum dishes like tacos, enchiladas, quesadillas and more.


Trivia: There is still some doubt about who introduced the tortilla, whether it were the Mexicans or Jews!


Jew’s Challah:

A famous one from the Jewish cuisine.Breads have a special place in this cuisine, than most other dishes. But this particular bread ‘Challah’ has a holy significance too. It came into existence because Challah meant ‘setting a portion aside’ and when the Jews used to worship God, they showed gratitude by saving a portion of this sweetish egg-y bread. There are lots of shapes designated to this braided bread, so you have the complete liberty to choose from many.


Trivia: Each shape has got a special significance, like the rounded ones symbolise continuity and the intertwined ones symbolise love


Italy’s Focaccia:

One of the most loved flatbreads in Italian cuisine, a treat to the eyes as well as taste buds.You can say it is an early version of pizza, originated in classic antiquity. This bread is heavy on olive oil. So, if you are planning to bake a focaccia, make sure you have enough stock of olive oil.The interesting bit is there are both sweet and savoury versions of this bread and is referred by a unique name in each country.


Trivia: The bakers poked in mini dimples in the bread so that they can be filled with extreme amounts of olive oil!


France’s Baguette:


French cuisine has a tiny ‘bread world’ in itself. It is so popular around the world for their exotic dishes, but breads and desserts bag up all the praises. It sounds unbelievable but French people have mastered the art of bread making by using just 4 ingredients – water, yeast, flour and salt.  In fact, it’s so much more interesting to know that there exists a ‘French bread law’ which states that baguettes can’t be preserved and they have to have just the  above 4  ingredients.  Not to forget, they have to be consumed within 24 hours! 


Trivia: Even though the French law exists, statistics say that people in France consume 32 million baguettes each day and there are more than 30,000 bakeries just in Paris.


Germany’s Pretzel:


This bread has loads of stories surrounding it. Hailing from Germany, this knot-shaped soft and squishy bread has a salty taste and is baked to perfection. They are made of water, flour and salt as in earlier times meat and dairy were prohibited. One story which is very popular about pretzels is about a monk who created it in Italy. He would give these breads as little rewards to children who memorised their prayers well. Whether or not, this story is true, you should be thankful that these beauties came into existence.

Trivia: The monk shaped pretzels in a way to resemble a child folding his hands during a prayer.

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MasterChef Sanjeev Kapoor

Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.