Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread

Bread. The staff of life. Our daily bread. My favorite food.

On Friday, Keith and I went out for lunch after church. (The weekend here is Friday and Saturday.) Whenever we go out, I check out the bread page of the menu. This time, I ordered something I hadn’t heard of before: Kashmiri naan. I was not disappointed. Though the menu (see image below) said it had “dried fruit”, I guess they were out because this was loaded with finely diced fresh mango, grapes and cashews. There was also an orange glaze lightly added to the top.

Kashmiri Naan and Butter Chicken
Just one restaurant’s bread menu

At least once a week we also walk down to our neighborhood bread baker and buy 5-10 large pieces of freshly baked bread (roti) for 100 fils (that is 27 cents U.S).

One of the wonderful things that Bahrain does for the people here is that they subsidize bread to keep it very inexpensive. It is a gracious and generous act. It’s a beautiful way that people are given their daily bread. Everyone can afford fresh bread in Bahrain, and every neighborhood has a bread oven similar to this one:

Bread Baking Oven

On Saturday, when we came up to the window to buy bread, Keith asked for “ten breads.” A friendly man waiting for his order at the window asked, “Do you want bread? The cold store across the street has bread,”as he formed his hands into a loaf. “Here they sell roti.” Then we had an interesting conversation about all the different names and subtle differences for what we often just refer to as bread.

After three years of conversations like the one above, and experiences with many different delicious breads from a variety of countries, we are starting to understand the differences and similarities between the names. Here are some pictures in a Google image search to see these various kinds of breadkuboos, the swirly, flaky and buttery Kerala parotha, naan, roti, chappati, appampapadum, and so much more!

Bread hot out of the oven
These large pieces of roti are also used as the plate for your food in this traditional restaurant–Haji’s Cafe.
Turkish bread, hummus and tabbouleh

More to Read

Bon Appétit “The Etymology of the Word: ‘Bread'”

Bread, Bread, Bread by Ann Morris. It’s just a simple children’s book of photographs of people all over the world with their own versions of bread.

8 thoughts on “Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread

  1. I’m loving your food posts. I also love bread! We don’t have very ethnic restaurants here – I’m living vicariously through your post.

  2. So a couple of things. First, YUM! I love bread, naan, love it all. Second, I absolutely love this subsidized bread scheme. It truly is the staff of life. Lastly, your post reminded me of the class children’s book Bread, Bread, Bread by Ann Morris. I have always been fascinated by bread and that it is something every culture around the world shares. Lovely slice. Thank you!

    1. Thanks, Christie. Yes, I love that book by Ann Morris. I’ve added it to the list of resources at the bottom of the post. Thank you for stopping by.

  3. It is interesting that we have many of the same breads here (large Indian community here, hence all the naan and roti). I love your descriptions and supporting pictures and your husband’s discussion.

    1. Erika,
      Thanks. Yes, the influence of the Indian subcontinent has a huge impact here on food, language and other cultural markers. About a third of the population is from India. We have still never been to India, but because of our friends here, we now know more about the geography, history and politics of that country than we ever had before.


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