A Bite-Sized History of Flour for #NationalFlourMonth

A Bite-Sized History of Flour for #NationalFlourMonth


The above is a photo of a grist stone mill that was either powered by an animal or people pulling it around to grind grain into flour.

Dust off your apron and raise a whisk! March is #NationalFlourMonth, a time to celebrate this versatile kitchen staple.

For millennia, humans have transformed grains like wheat, corn, and even nuts into flour, using it to create countless culinary delights. From the humble loaf of bread to the delicate pastry, flour is the foundation of countless dishes.

Fertile Crescent

The Birthplace of Grains

The Fertile Crescent, the cradle of agriculture, is most likely where wild ancestors of wheat and barley thrived. Around 9,000 BC, people started cultivating these seeds, changing the way we eat forever.

Early Innovations

Grinding stones, the first food processors, cracked open those tough grains, making them edible. This led to gruels, flatbreads, and even the accidental discovery of sourdough!

From Staple to Symbol

Flour wasn't just food; it became a cultural touchstone. From Asian noodles to European sourdough, each flour-based tradition reflects its unique heritage. Even simple dough-kneading connects generations through shared rituals and flavors.

Globally Connected, Locally Expressed

Today, globalization brings together flavors and techniques. Chefs experiment with ancient grains, and kitchens hum with the fusion of sourdough starters from across continents.

More Than Just Food

Flour's journey reflects our enduring relationship with this versatile ingredient. It's a reminder that even the most basic things hold stories waiting to be savored. So, the next time you enjoy that slice of bread, remember the incredible history it holds!

Want to dig deeper? Dive into the specific tales of wheat, rice, or corn, each with its own journey of domestication and cultural impact. Discover how even the ordinary becomes extraordinary when we explore its past.

Here are some excellent resources for further reading on the fascinating history of flour and its cultural significance:

General History:

Flour and Bread Making:

Specific Regions and Cultures:

So, this month, stock your pantry, unleash your inner baker, and experience the joy of creating with flour!


Darryl Alder Thumbnail `image

Author: Darryl Alder lives with his wife at Riverside Lodge along the Provo River. Together they have raised 4 adopted children and now have 6 grandchildren that keep them busy. After retiring from a career with the Boy Scouts of America, he became a hobby sourdough baker and blogger. He blogs for AbigailOven.com and yoursourdoughstart.com You can reach him via darrylhalder@gmail,  Instagram @darryl.alder, and X @DarrylHAlder.

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