The Bread Box-Blog


putting butter on bread

The Origin of Putting Butter on Bread

Suprisingly, the first smearing of butter on bread was not by Copernicus, the same astronomer who first suggested that the Earth revolves around the Sun, despite popular belief. Recent evidence points to this delicious pair making their debut as early as the 15th century, by a fly fishing woman named Juliana Berners. Below we examine the origin of putting butter on bread, starting with the famous story of Copernicus.

The Previously Held Belief

  People have claimed that Copernicus actually played a vital part of the defense strategy when a castle in north-eastern Poland was under attack by Teutonic Knights. Many of his soldiers were dying due to the plague, which Copernicus soon realized was a result of eating bread that was dropped while being carried up steps. After realizing this, Copernicus began coating the bread in butter, so that he could easily see which pieces had dropped and would wipe them clean. Once this strategy was employed, the plague was curbed. Not only that, but a new tasty side dish was introduced.

The New Evidence

  Copernicus’s use of bread and butter appeared to be the first until a treatise written about fly fishing was uncovered. In this treatise, written in the 15th century, Juliana Berners describes putting butter on toasted brown bread. This means that bread and butter were actually consumed long before Copernicus first paired them together.

Other Accounts of Bread & Butter

  While Berners seemingly takes the crown as the first instigator of the delicious combination, there are a few other accounts of people using it throughout the 16th century. In 1617, Fynes Moryson, a famous European author, is quoted saying “All within the sound of Bow Bell, are in reproach called cochnies, and eaters of buttered toestes.” Samuel Pepys, the administrator of the navy of England, is very famous for his decade of diary entries. In one such entry from June 1661, he mentions “drinking of great draughts of claret, and eating botargo and bread and butter till 12 at night.”  

Baker’s Bread Loves Pairing Butter & Bread

  Baker’s Pride has always focused on baking quality foods with simple, fresh ingredients right here in the U.S. And we are proud to provide our customers a variety of sliced and wrapped breads that compliment a wide range of preferences. Contact us today to learn more about our bread and donut products.