- Lectures & Classes
They Came Bearing Bread -- The Hard Lives of the Porteuses de Pain
Culinary Historians of San Diego will present “They Came Bearing Bread -- The Hard Lives of the Porteuses de Pain,” featuring Jim Chevallier, at 10:30 am March 19, at the San Diego Central Library, 330 Park Blvd. For more than a hundred years, bread porters, almost always women, hand delivered bread in French cities.
The “porteuses de pain” were a familiar part of French life, portrayed in images, statues, novels and plays, mentioned among national sights, and often considered to have hard lives. This presentation will explore their working conditions, social roles and family lives, their appearance as both victims and criminals in legal cases, their medical issues, and the varied ways they inspired painters, sculptors, photographers and writers.
Jim Chevallier began as a bread historian; his book on August Zang (who brought the croissant to Paris) has been widely cited. He has also written a history of French bread. Jim’s most recent work is “Feasting With the Franks; the First French Medieval Food,” a rare look at the food of the early Middle Ages in France. He also writes fiction and his monologues for young actors remain popular.