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Let’s get this out of the way—bread is life. I will never willingly give up carbs. Like so many over this past year, I took up baking as a hobby to avoid going mad in my own home. I like to think it’s been working. There’s something quite soothing of having to continue to knead a massive ball of dough for what feels like hours to work the gluten. It’s one of the best stress relievers I could ever recommend.

There are hundreds of different varieties of bread, ranging from baguette to soda bread to zopf. As one of the oldest man-made foods, bread plays an important role in many cultures, with nearly every country and every religion having a type of bread they’re known for. The earliest recorded evidence of bread-making appeared in 8,000 B.C. in Egypt. The importance of bread-making exploded during the agricultural revolution when grains became plentiful, as civilization started to stay planted near large bodies of water to grow crops rather than roaming to hunt food.

With only a few ingredients, bread is an easy and accessible food to make. Most recipes call for flour, water, salt, a leavening agent, most often yeast or sourdough, and all you need(knead) is an oven to cook it. Bread machines might be appealing, but they’re not worth it, especially if you’re limited on counter space. With the accessibility, it’s no wonder why bread-making became such a massive trend in 2020 during stay-at-home orders and lockdowns.

In culture, metaphors relating to bread have become common phrases and show the influence bread has in our lives from referring to high earners as “breadwinners” and anything slightly remarkable as the best thing since “sliced bread.” Even the word “lord” comes from the Old English word hlāfweard, which translates to “bread keeper.”

When you dive deep into the significance of bread, it’s insane to think of how much influence one food can have in our lives. To celebrate this wonder food in all its doughy glory, here are the best bread tattoos we could find that rise above the rest.