Making Flat Bread, Norway

Special Collections > Keystone Slides
tiff scanned file from original glass slide
Here is the way bread is made in one part of the world even today. When you think of the kitchen range or the gas stove in your home, you can hardly believe such a scene possible. But the peasants of Norway do not have easy lives. Nor do they have many things in their homes. This old woman is showing you how to make flat bread. Flat bread is the staff of life for the poor of Norway and Sweden. It is made out of barley meal and water stirred together. The batter thus formed is rolled thin. Then it is placed on stones among which is a fire of little sticks. A cake is soon baked. Then it is lifted off the fire and put on a table. But it is not yet eaten. This old woman is baking the family's supply of bread for the winter. She may bake all day long. The cakes are stacked in a house in which meat and other foods are kept. When the long cold days come there is a supply of bread always at hand. The cakes themselves may be 18 inches across, but they are very thin. And you could eat and eat of them and still be hungry. But when they are eaten with cheese or butter or fish they are passably good. The basin containing the barley meal is on the ground to the woman's left. The batter is in the dish on the table in front of her. On the stick she is holding a cake. It looks like a doily with a pattern worked into it. On the rocks this side the table is another cake baking. The baking is done out of doors. This is the usual baking place of a Norwegian home. There is a famous English story told of an old woman who left a king to look after her cakes. She was baking them in much the same way in a fireplace. If you do not know it, read the story of "King Alfred and the Cakes." Keystone ID: 13420 Note: All titles, descriptions, and location coordinates are from the original Keystone Slide documentation as supplied by the Keystone View Company. No text has been edited or changed.
Copyright by the Keystone View Company. The original slides are housed in McConnell Library's Special Collections.