Break Bread this Harmony Day

The message for this year’s Harmony Day is one that will certainly resonate with Blacktown residents: “Everyone Belongs.” And at an upcoming local celebration, representatives from a range of cultures will highlight an everyday staple that many cultures share.

This week, SydWest and Blacktown Council are joining forces to host a special Harmony Day celebration. Taking place on Wednesday 21 March, the festivities will include a spread of live performances, cultural and information stalls, workshops, children’s activities and, of course, a diverse selection of food from around the world. Since almost every culture has its own take on bread, what better way to celebrate Australia’s rich diversity than by coming together and breaking bread from different cultures and faiths?
Organised by FoodFaith and FEN, the Breaking Bread project encourages everyone to learn about how the humble pantry staple has traversed the globe and taken on particular meaning for many different cultures and faiths. With Indigenous Australian, Afghani, Punjabi, Hindu, Buddhist, Chinese, Muslim, Jewish, Catholic and Uniting cultures and faiths being represented on the day, you’ll have more than enough bread to choose from. And for those keen to get hands-on, you can even have a go at making your own.
To get you in the mood to join in the event, we’ve listed a few interesting facts you probably didn’t know about the world’s most popular food.

Bush Bread is Number One
Indigenous Australians might well have been the world’s first bakers. Now housed in Sydney’s Australian Museum, a 36,000-year-old grindstone discovered in outback New South Wales is believed to have been used to turn seeds into flour for baking. “Bush bread,” which resembles pita or Egyptian flat bread, is a far cry from the wheat-based product most of us have in our kitchen. Traditionally, Indigenous Australians used a number of different seeds including millet, prickly wattle and bush bean in their breads – all of which impart a certain flavour to the bread. You might say Indigenous Australians were experimenting with gastronomy long before Heston Blumenthal came along.

Fit for a General
Most of us usually think of noodles, rice and dumplings when Chinese food is mentioned. But different forms of Chinese bread have actually been around since the Han Dynasty, which ruled about 1500 years ago. Although the market is growing in Australia, most people aren’t aware of the variety and volume of bread consumed in China. With a dizzying array of delicious sweet and savoury options on offer, Chinese-accented bakery Breadtop might just change your mind.

Not Your Average Bread
In India, bread comes in many forms. In South India, for example, a type of bread known as appam is typically made with fermented rice batter and coconut milk to produce a popular breakfast dish. The Punjab region in north-west India is home to the more well-known makki di roti (meaning “bread of maize”) which is made from corn meal and often accompanied with saag, makkhan and maah daal. FoodFaith and FEN welcome you to come along and get involved with an international pastime. And if you’re feeling inspired to share a new recipe with your family, Westpoint will have just what you’re looking for. You’ll find all your baking needs at Coles and Woolworths but if you’re after something a little more off the beaten track, check out Tong Li Supermarket