Historic Breads at Plimoth Plantation

Wheat and corn, maize, breads, Plimoth Plantation circa 1620

Corn (maize) and wheat breads baked at Plimoth Plantation.

Plimoth Plantation is a national park. The primary attraction is a reenactment village that is designed to provide a sense of what life was like for the early settlers. The village is frozen in time. It is always 1627 at Plimoth Plantation. By focusing on a single year the staff is forced to delve into details. With regard to bread — just what was the bread like in Plimothin 1627? What were the ingredients? How was it prepared? How was it baked? I took this photograph in 2003. It illustrates at least one conception of what the breads of 1627 might have been like. As conceived by the curators in 2003 they were at least sometimes flat, coarse, and made with some or a lot of corn flour. In this illustration the corn and wheat breads are distinct. It is possible to imagine, however, based on the settlers’ experience with maslin — a mixture of grains such as wheat and rye or barley and rye that they might also have mixed corn and wheat flour.

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