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Abstract

The emphasis placed on the baking of traditional soda-bread in a Bastable oven on the open hearth has created a charming image of spartan self-sufficiency throughout rural Ireland in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. But shop-bought bread, produced in small-scale commercial ovens located in villages and towns, was a common item of both rural and urban diet throughout the nineteenth century. This paper explores both the means of production and the possible scale of production in a cluster of villages in the Blackwater valley in the west of county Waterford. An important implication may be that the traditional soda-bread was in fact a source of variety in a diet of commercially available bread.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
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