Any Way You Slice It
A “breadbasket” region is one with particularly fertile soil and growing conditions for staple grain.
The term “bread and butter” has been used for centuries to describe someone’s dependable income and livelihood, but before that, the term described the necessities of life.
Bread is old. There is evidence of breadmaking going back to the neolithic period, about 10,000 years ago.
Bread is also popular. It is estimated that 60% of the world’s population eats bread every day, and at least two countries (Bulgaria and Turkey) eat an average of over 200 lbs./person annually.
The fairytale of Hansel and Gretel mentioned the first trail of breadcrumbs used to find your way back where you came, though this is now a modern internet term.
To “break bread” with one or more people typically means not simply eating but sharing some fellowship through your shared meal. Notably, in biblical times when this phrase started, the much-harder bread would have been divided by breaking more than tearing, as with modern softer bread.
As old as bread is, the first mention of any baker selling it pre-sliced is not until 1928. By the 1930’s however, automatic bread slicing machines became common in industry. Since then, “the greatest thing since sliced bread” has been somewhat of a”spoof marketing slogan,” as one author put it.