You’ll often hear people say that breaking bread with someone is the best way to get to know them. The term breaking bread has persisted for a long time. You might have often wondered what it means. The origins of the phrase date back to biblical times.
Food plays an integral role in human lives. Whether you’re a food lover or not, you can’t deny the importance it can have in connecting people. People consume food for more than just sustenance. Food can be an expression, an art form. However, more importantly, food tells a story. It’s crucial because it holds significant cultural meaning that would otherwise be lost.
The Connection Between Food, Culture, and Society
You might be wondering about how there could be a connection between food, culture, and society. The answer is straightforward. For starters, depending on where you hail from, you’ll likely have become accustomed to eating particular crops. After all, vegetables and fruits have climates suitable for their growth. For example, cashews and Brazilians tend to grow most favorably in Latin America. As a result, many Latin American dishes incorporate these ingredients. Likewise, head over to Asia, and you’ll find that places like Malaysia, Indonesia, and other neighboring countries have an abundance of Coconuts. Therefore, you end up with Malaysia having a coconut-inspired rice meal as its national dish.
Hence, food tells a remarkable story about your origins as a person. Moreover, it depicts a wider tale about a society and its past. The crops that you consume at your dining table today stem back to your ancestors. They likely cultivated the first crop fields, and their traditions continued centuries later. Therefore, it’s impossible to argue that food can tell an entire civilization’s history in the most flavorful way imaginable.
In addition, sharing food’s an excellent way to form connections. After all, humans love to bond over shared activities, and nothing’s more common than the need to sustain your body. Think about it this way: anytime you ask a person out, you usually end up going to a restaurant with them. You sit down at the table, getting to know them more over a plate of your favorite dish. Likewise, anytime you hang out with your friends, there’s bound to be a plate of your collective’s agreed-upon food. Research shows that food plays a meaningful role in cultivating relationships.
Furthermore, food also plays an invaluable role in transmitting culture to the next generation. Think about it this way: if you were lucky enough to have your grandparents while growing up, one of your favorite memories might be eating your grandmother’s meals. Such instances ring particularly true for Americans because many US citizens can trace their lineage back to another country. Your family might have been born in Italy or Ireland before they shifted to the US, searching for a better life. You might not have visited your ancestral land, but eating your grandmother’s authentic Italian food transported you back to the fields of the Éire for a split second. Hence, you can argue that food’s an excellent way to experience the culture.
Experience the World Through Food with Irina Bukatik
Irina Bukatik is a food lover and a travel enthusiast. She’s constantly searching for new ways to mesh the two. Visit her website, Wanderlust Food, to learn about the seamless integration of food and culture for those yearning for adventure.