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Where does the tradition of “weighing” bread come from?

30 mayo, 2021

To weigh it is an art… and also a delight. Who doesn’t like the pleasure of dipping a piece of bread in a warm drink? I believe that everyone, and we have all done it on occasion.

Of course, it is a very homemade tradition and it is rare that we feel the “confidence” of doing it in a cafeteria or restaurant, or when we are visiting the house of an acquaintance. Soup is reserved for the family atmosphere or for solitude.

And there may be that weighing is an art: dipping a bread and not spilling a single drop to put it in your mouth takes your training, and it is better to do it alone or with someone who makes us a bad gesture (my mother once told me that he would never eat away from home, as if it were a sin).

But where does this tradition so legitimately rooted in Mexico come from? Today we tell you a little about its history and other curious facts that you should know about the art of weighing.

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Soup and bread go hand in hand

This tradition is commonly made with bread (sweet, telera, bolillo or any other of the bakery family. Cookies are also a rich option that, by the way, children love.

And we can do it in different liquid substances: a coffee, milk or even soup. It all depends on what we have on the table.

But let’s not take our eyes off the bread, because this food may have been the cause of the weighing in our lives.

It was the Spanish who brought the bread to pre-Hispanic lands, and quite possibly those who taught the natives to weigh.

It was very common that, after several days, the bread carried on the expeditions became hard and therefore difficult to eat (and much less appetizing). So, chopping was an excellent option to soften it and avoid losing any teeth when biting into it.

This is a theory of how this tradition became so ingrained in Mexico, but it may have originated much further back.

(Photo Getty Images)

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Sign of respect and humility

In ancient times, Jews used to dip bread in broth or wine and offer it to their guests as a sign of respect and humility.

Even in the chapter of the Last Supper of the Bible, it is said that Jesus dipped bread to signal the disciple that he would betray him (Judas Iscariot).

We know that the Sephardim (that is, the Judeo-Spanish) inhabited Spanish territory for many years, and inherited many of their customs, and among them, I can be the art of chopping.

If we reflect a little, during and after the persecution caused by the Spanish Inquisition, it was very frowned upon to be a Jew or a friend of Jews. And do not say anything about their customs! For any “Jewish” sign in your behavior, you could end up in court to stand trial. It may be that from here comes that weighing is something “frowned upon”, “rude” or a custom so intimate that you can only do at home, alone or with your family.

But times have changed and topping a churro in chocolate is the most common. In this cold season, enjoy, crash and do it with whoever you have the most confidence … or not.

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