[Sca-cooks] Wedding bread

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius1 at verizon.net
Sun May 13 20:51:26 PDT 2007

On May 13, 2007, at 10:02 PM, Terry Decker wrote:

> Wedding bread of one sort or another was common in Medieval  
> Europe.  In
> Britian and the United States, it has been replaced by the wedding  
> cake.
> Wedding breads can be anything from small buns to large ornately  
> decorated
> loaves depending on the culture and use.
> My opinion is that the general European custom derives from the Greek
> worship of Demeter as the goddess of fertility with ripe grain and  
> small
> breads shaped like genitalia and breasts.  The shape changed for a  
> Chrisitan
> world, but the connection to fertility remained.

Yes, I suspect this is about right, both for the grain/fertility  
aspect, various blessings on the hearth and home, and the practical  
ease with which various trinkets can be hidden in a loaf (although  
these aren't necessarily wedding customs, per se, but they may all  
help identify cakes and breads with celebrations).

Isn't there something about the groom's mother breaking an oatcake  
over the head of the bride in old -- probably 18th-19th century --  
Scottish tradition? While I think of it, isn't there a reference to  
some kind of wedding bread in the Domestroi? Let me check...

I remember when we were planning my wedding to SWMBO, and the bride  
faction had to give serious thought as to whether we needed or wanted  
a cake. "Cake? What's wrong with you people? How can people eat cake  
when they're all full of soy sauce chicken, roast pig and noodles?"

Eventually we had a cake (in addition to the other stuff), but sure  
enough, Mother's Day dinner tonight was a huge platter of pan-fried  
egg noodles topped with jumbo shrimp, sea scallops and bok toy in  
oyster sauce -- that's  hoi sin <seafood> chow mein to you...


> While I haven't read it; Charsley, Simon R., Wedding Cakes and  
> Cultural
> History, London; Routledge, 1992, is considered an exellent  
> reference on the
> subject.
> Bear
>> I have been looking for examples of wedding  bread.  It seems   
>> that it is
>> common for those of Greek descent, and some Jewish ceremonies.    
>> Most of
>> what I
>> have found is central European concentrating on the Balkan   
>> communities.
>> Is
>> there evidence of this in period?
>> I have pictures of what is listed as traditional Hungarian from The
>> History
>> of Bread by Dupaiagne.
>> Aldyth
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