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Ancient bread, bagel renaissance, pink swans and time travel

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Spring is in the air and all over the UK people are keen to get back to the alfresco lifestyle, happily eating outdoors in cafes, restaurants and pubs across the land.

If you’re in foodservice why not treat your customers to the most delicious flash-frozen artisan breads on the planet? OK, it’s a bold claim, so if you haven’t given them a try we’ll send you a free sample box so you can taste what all the fuss is about. Just click the button at the bottom of the page. In the meantime, here’s the news.

The world’s oldest bread just got older

A while ago we reported on the discovery of the world’s oldest bread. Now archaeologists have found an even older loaf, this time unbaked. It dates back to 6600 BC, discovered in an ancient oven in a place called Mekan 66 at the archaeological site of Çatalhöyük in Konya. Surrounding the oven were fragments of wheat, barley, pea seeds, and a small chunk of spongy residue that turned out to be 8,600 year old bread.

The small palm-sized loaf, the like of which has never been seen before, has a finger mark pressed in the middle and has been fermented but not baked. Exploring using a scanning electron microscope revealed it contained grains of starch and was full of holes, which sealed the deal: it was indeed bread.

The site is a UNESCO World Heritage site that was once home to around eight thousand Neolithic people, one of the first sites showing evidence of urbanisation. It’s an extremely significant settlement revealing the early days of agriculture.

At last – decent bagels Down Under

Americans who emigrate to Australia have long bemoaned the lack of a decent bagel. Now, following the worldwide pandemic baking frenzy, self-taught Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide bakers are remedying the sad situation. As reported by the Guardian, the country’s bagel renaissance is already making a dramatic impact.

Watch Bread Barbershop Season 1 with the kiddies

Hooked on bread? Why not indoctrinate your children into its many, many marvels and wonders? The animated Korean TV series Bread Barbershop is a big hit with children aged 6 to 10, a wonderfully eccentric CGI comedy about the weird folk living in a world inhabited by living food. You can watch it on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

Swans go pink

Swans are not meant to be pink, so when the public reported pink swans at Moses Gate Country Park in Bolton, Greater Manchester, to the RSPCA the charity swung into action.

Apparently it’s down to people feeding bread to the birds, which then goes mouldy with fungus and spreads a disease called ‘pink feather syndrome’. When the swans clean themselves it gets onto their beaks before being transferred to their feathers.

It’s important to remove the mould because it affects feathers’ natural waterproofing, which makes it harder for swans and other birds to swim and fly. Because the feathers become so fragile and waterlogged they also get very cold and risk dying from hypothermia.

Rolling back time to 1977

When you see the 1970s on telly, it looks properly grim. In 1977 it was grim thanks to a nationwide bakery worker strike leading to mass panic buying and loaves selling out within minutes. Some shops saw queues hundreds of feet long whenever a bread delivery was due.

Bread rationing was brought in by some retailers as people started panic-buying, cramming their shopping trolleys with bread. Some people signed up for bread baking courses, others bought the raw ingredients and baked theirs at home.

On the bright side, small independent bakers who weren’t affected by the strike took the opportunity to do well indeed out of the crisis. As one of them said way back then, “We are carrying on until we drop.”

Make your next bread order a brilliant one

Keep people coming back to your place with our legendary artisan breads. Click the button below and we’ll spring into action. You’ll get your free box of lush bread samples in no time, freshly frozen by the best wholesale artisan bakers in Kent.