Breaking Bread

The tradition of unbraiding a twisted loaf during discussions of shared relationships.

Breaking the bread is the Beluvian tradition of untangling and sharing a braided loaf between folks negotiating the terms of consent within polyamorous and open relationships, and a braided loaf is used to signify the joining together of individuals in a way that is both comfortable and pleasing.   This tradition has spread to other regions of Anvil, though overseas it is more commonly practised in gatherings between military and political parties to ensure peacekeeping.  


Untangling Topics

Breaking the bread is often started privately between couples with a small braided loaf that is picked apart together as topics surrounding consent, boundaries and formalities are discussed. For more than two people, a larger and more complexly braided loaf is baked.   Sharing from the same loaf of bread ensures that all participants in the discussion are on equal terms and coming from the same place. It helps to build trust with new folks at the table with this humbly shared experience.   Sobriety and level-headedness is an important part of the tradition, and (if desired) the consumption of any recreational drugs or alcohol are restricted until after everybody is satisfied with the discussion and the crumbs have been swept from the table.

Food for Comfort

When sharing the bread, table manners are left behind. The act of picking at the loaf, crunching the toasted crust, and idly rolling the crumbs makes it much easier for folks to discuss challenging or awkward topics - these behaviours are encouraged to help the conversation flow, and the simple act of eating your fill of bread ensures that no one at the table behaves irrationaly due to hunger.  

Dipping Sauces

The bread is purposely plain to suit the palette of all folks involved and symbolises a basic starting point that everyone understands and is comfortable with.   Different members of the table bring an accompaniment of spreads and dips to share with the group to symbolise the offering of new tastes and experiences, which make the meal enjoyable and can also be used as a metaphorical conversation tool.

Do you like the sweetness of jam?
How about the meat of a clam?
  Would you like it spicy and hot?
Or cooling with cream that's thick enough to clot?
  Do you like the salt on your tongue?
Just a little sprinkle or intense like the ocean?
  Do you enjoy the extra cheese?
Go on, help yourself, and taste what you please.
Primary Related Location
Sharing is caring!
— common saying

Cover image: by melanie boers on Unsplash


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6 Jul, 2022 22:10

I love this... not much more I can say...

9 Jul, 2022 00:18

I'm glad you enjoyed it :) thank you!

Creator of the dark fantasy world of Melior
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7 Jul, 2022 17:24

This is such a sweet article, I may want to make it a tradition in my real life! Such a wonderful idea for having those difficult discussions.

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9 Jul, 2022 00:19

Awwh thanks so much! :D I intend on using it myself, too

Creator of the dark fantasy world of Melior
I also make worldbuilding resources!
5 Aug, 2022 01:43

What an interesting way to resolve conflicts and untangle a difficult conversation. Very nice article.

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6 Aug, 2022 19:58

Thank you :)

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E. Christopher Clark
5 Aug, 2022 10:43

My mom makes a Swedish braided bread for certain holidays throughout the year, and I often think about the symbolism of the thing (before I devour my slice because it's so tasty). Your article provided such a wonderful explanation for the meaning such a foodstuff could have in the lives of a people. Bravo! Well done.

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6 Aug, 2022 19:58


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Amélie I. S. Debruyne
19 Aug, 2022 21:12

Great article! I really like the symbolism of the sharing of the bread, and the more mundane purpose of also giving people something to do with their hands XD It's a really fun tradition to have, especially when it's associated with an event we don't even see talked about.

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22 Aug, 2022 18:39

Thank you! :D

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