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Bread in Mexico

Bread industry was consolidated around 1525 when Rodrigo Paz opened the first mills in Tacubaya and Tlatelolco
Photo: File photo / EL UNIVERSAL
02/09/2017
08:38
Adriana Silvestre
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In the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century, the tradition of naming loaves according to their resemblance to objects began, however, bread-making in Mexico goes further back. Spaniards first brought wheat to Aztec territory, yet the industry was consolidated around 1525 when Rodrigo Paz opened the first mills in Tacubaya and Tlatelolco. At the time, bread made with the best ingredients was for Spaniards and Criollos (people from Spanish South or Central America, especially one of pure Spanish descent), while regular bread was sold in the pulquerías (a type of tavern in Mexico that specializes in serving an alcoholic beverage known as pulque) where the rest of the people bought bread. Then, furnaces and family bakeries came becoming the first businesses to produce this delight.

Bread, now!

According to data from the National Chamber of Bakery and Related Industries (Cámara Nacional de la Industria Panificadora abbreviated CANAINPA), during the eighteenth century the first European, mainly from France and Italy, bakers and pastry chefs arrived in Mexico and installed their workshops increasing bread consumption in the country. "Bakeries were strictly regulated, both in weight and quantity of production, and price," said Manuel Mondragón, baker and chef of Hotel Casona María.

In 1880, the number of bakeries and pastry shops in Mexico City reached 78, but it was after 1922 when bizcochería (pastry industry) was introduced and large establishments emerged. Culture mixture produced differences in the bread industry in every state, municipality, and community of the country, and thus the huge variety of ceremonial, festive, and regular bread.

In the fifties, Antonio Ordoñez removed the counter in his bakeries and allowed people to select the bread by themselves introducing self-service at every bakery in the country and improving bread sales.

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In recent decades, there are small bakeries with small homemade ovens where traditional Mexican loaves of bread are made, but French, German, and Viennese bread is baked as well. 

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