Happy National Flour Month
Recently we learnt that March is National Flour month – who knew?! We still haven’t quite worked out why March is national flour month, but who are we to argue.
It is flour month every month here at Vienna Bakery. Flour is at the heart of baking and we always make sure we use the very best.
So, let us share with you some of our flour appreciation.
What is Flour?
Flour is, in general, ground down cereal or wheat grains forming a fine powder.
Flour – the meaning
The Old French fleur or flour meant “blossom” and in general conversation “the finest.”
The phrase “fleur de farine” means “the finest part of the meal” because the process of making flour involves separating the undesirable grain.
- The earliest known flour mill found in an archaeological dig dates back to 6000 BC.
- Flour dust is explosive when it is floating in the air. (Any air-borne flammable substance that is finely powdered is!)
- Iron, niacin, thiamine and riboflavin was added to flour in the 1930’s to enrich it.
- Throughout history, flour has been a major political and economic interest as it was so pivotal to our main food source – bread.
There was an entire war (more like a series of riots) because of flour in the 18th century. An increase in grain prices, leading to an increase in bread prices sent the peasants of France to the streets in protest.
The French King at the time was referred to as ‘le premier Boulanger du royaume’ – prime baker of the kingdom. It was his role to ensure that his subjects all had access to food, and for the peasants that mainly meant bread.
Thus, when a grain shortage occurred causing prices to rocket the people started to revolt.
We’re still not sure why March is the National Flour month. But, it is such an important ingredient in terms of the bread we eat today and the evolution of civilisation that it certainly does deserve its own month of appreciation.
The French bakers, especially in Northern France, end their Christmas celebrations on the weekend of the 12th Night, the 6th January, celebrating the visit of the three Kings to Christ in Bethlehem, by baking the Galette des Rois, which translates into the King’s griddle cake.We have made our own version this year. We hope you will try it and enjoy it – please let us know what you think.Read more >>
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