This week I have more news for you from the Polski Daily!
In Poland, there is no product more symbolic and traditional than bread. It has incredible value and I know today its meaning is changing, especially among youngsters, but I hope at least some part of it will stay with us forever!
In the past times – Middle Ages and such, most of the people were poor and they couldn’t afford a lot of products. They would mostly eat bread or groats and some butter / sour cream / vegetables or – if it was an important occasion – some pieces of meat, fish or animal fat. They knew that food is valuable so they respected it and never wasted any.
The second aspect that added a special meaning to bread is the catholic belief that bread and wine are symbols of Christs’ body and blood. That is why, the tradition in Poland is that when a piece of bread falls on the ground, you immediately pick it up and kiss it – out of great respect.
It is also a tradition for Polish weddings to greet the newlyweds with bread, salt and shots of vodka. This happens when they leave the church and they enter the place where the party’s going to be. Traditionally – it was in their new house, but these days it’s mostly some pretty wedding facility. Still, the tradition is kept, that “the hosts” (traditionally the parents, nowadays – the waiters or waitresses from the party place) meet the young couple at the door with a plate with a loaf of bread – so that they never go hungry, salt – so that their life together always has flavour, and shots of vodka – so that, well, you know, they have a drink :D (tbh I don’t know what’s the symbolic meaning of vodka shots, I think it’s been added by people later on, just to get this party started haha!).
The meaning of bread you can also find in different sayings in Polish – they are already kind of forgotten, but I can tell you one that my dad always says, kind of as a joke – “for bread you have to work your way, everything else you can steal”. You see what I mean?
Today the approach is different, because most of the Poles didn’t suffer hunger nor such poverty in their lives, like the ones that lived in the past, during different wars. There are no wars and you have all kinds of breads and rolls in the shops, from all corners of the world! But still, many Polish people living abroad say – there is no such bread as a Polish one ;)