Traditions, quotes and proverbs


  • The New Year tradition of First Footing involves leaving a piece of bread, coal and a silver coin at the front door, – to bring you warmth, comfort and enough money to last throughout the coming year.
  • The bride at a Muslim wedding must eat 21 small chapattis before leaving the room.
  • Bread is used in our language as a symbol. Christians pray for their ‘daily bread and we work ‘to earn a crust. ‘Bread and ‘dough are slang terms for money.
  • The workers who built the pyramids of Egypt were paid in bread.
  • The phrase ‘bakers dozen, meaning 13 not 12, comes from the Middle Ages when there were problems with bakers cheating their customers by producing under-sized loaves.


The sight and scent of a newly baked loaf has a romantic appeal that transcends all other culinary achievements.
Elisabeth Luard

Bread and water – these are the things nature requires. For such things no man is too poor, and whosoever can limit his desire to them alone can rival Jupiter for happiness.

We have learned to see in bread an instrument of community between men – the flavour of bread shared has no equal.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery

The universe of bread is made up of a nostalgia for ones childhood, the hard work of farmers, millers and bakers and the distinctive pleasure given by something ‘authentic and flavourful.
Jerome Assire

Compromise used to mean that half a loaf was better than no bread. Among modern statesman it really seems to mean that half a loaf is better than a whole loaf.
GK Chesterton

A loaf of bread, the Walrus said, ‘Is what we chiefly need: Pepper and vinegar besides are very good indeed.
Lewis Carol (The Walrus and the Carpenter)

Wine that maketh glad the heart of man; and oil to make him a cheerful countenance, and bread to strengthen mans heart.
The Book of Common Prayer

Their learning is like bread in a besieged town; every man gets a little, but no man gets a full meal.
Dr Johnson

If thou tastest a crust of bread, thou tastest all the stars and all the heavens.
Robert Browning

Bread is the king of the table and all else is merely the court that surrounds the king.
Louis Bromfield

“With bread all sorrows are less” – Sancho Panza speaking to Dapple, his ass in Don Quixote.
Miguel de Cervantes

Without bread all is misery
William Cobbett


Avoid those who don’t like bread and children.
Swiss Proverb 

With a piece of bread in your hand you’ll find paradise under a pine tree.
Russian Proverb

Rather a piece of bread with a happy heart than wealth with grief.
Egyptian Proverb

Better dry bread in peacetime than meat in wartime.
Hungarian Proverb