For at least 6000 years, people have summoned sourdough starter seemingly out of the air and combined it with milled wheat, water and a dash of salt to produce “the staff of life”: bread. Professor Eric Pallant takes us on a 6,000-year journey through history as we learn why bread (and not the slicer) was the greatest invention of all time. We will meet ancient Egyptian pyramid builders, bygone Roman bakers, medieval housewives, Gold Rush miners, and historical figures like Plato, Pliny the Elder and Marie Antoinette.
Mass production and economics caused bread to fall into deserved disrespect at the end of the twentieth century. Fortunately, today we are seeing the rise of a new artisanal bread culture as modern bakers are remaking our bread economy and repurposing our fundamental human connection with food.
Eric Pallant is the author of Sourdough Culture: A History of Bread Making from Ancient to Modern Bakers (2021). He is a serious amateur baker, a two-time Fulbright Scholar, award-winning professor and Professor of Environmental Science and Sustainability at Allegheny College, in Meadsville, Pennsylvania.
This event is in partnership with the Culinary Historians of Ann Arbor.
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