Ok. Yep. I’m doing it. I’m actually going to do this. Good taste be damned.
Anyone who has read my oddities in the past know that my definition of good taste is a long ways away from the standard. Quite frankly, it takes a hell of a lot to offend me. The main reason for that is, I just don’t care.
But occasionally I come across a subject that even I have to seriously consider. Not if I should post about it or not, that’s a given, but how I should handle it. Should I tread lightly and treat it in a delicate manner, trying to spare the good senses of all my readers? Or should I just go ahead and tell it like it is, pulling no punches?
Again, if you’ve ever read my oddities, you’ll know I rarely pull any punches.
Well, when I first came across this subject I was actually researching something else. Something totally unrelated to this. I read about it and was very incredulous. I mean, just because you read it on the internet doesn’t make it true. So I jotted it down for more research and continued on my merry way. In the last week I finally got around to doing that research. And lo, it’s was true. Confirmed by none other than the Oxford English Dictionary. And if the OED says it, it’s most likely true.
So, what is this subject I’m just going to go and tell you about?
It’s called Cockle Bread.
First off, let’s explore what cockle bread is. The first reference in writing to cockle bread comes in 1595. Cockles were weeds that grew in the corn fields in England. Now, I know I said corn, but it wasn’t corn as you know it. Corn came from North America and was called maize. In medieval England corn was the word used to describe any grain. If a farmer said he was growing corn, he mean a grain like wheat or barley.
Back then virtually all grains were ground into flour for baking. And bread was what they baked. Come harvest time the farmers didn’t want any cockles in their grain, so they instructed the serfs and peasants to separate the cockles out. (what, you didn’t think the landowner actually worked the land, did you?) Since the peasants had to work for the land owners, they didn’t get to keep what they grew and harvested. It mostly went to the landlords. So, to make ends meet, the peasants would keep the cockles and grind them into a flour and bake bread with it.
It was an inferior bread that reportedly was not very good, but it sure beat starvation.
If we jump forward to the 19th century, we again encounter cockle bread. but this time it’s a childrens game. One child would squat down and grab their thigh while two others would grab the first childs arm and swing them back and forth. They would all recite the poem:
My granny is sick and now is dead,
We’ll go mould some cocklety bread.
Up with the heels and down with the head,
And thats how you make cocklety bread.
Woo-hoo! Doesn’t that sound like a fun game? Makes you want to go right out and play it with your friends, right?
I’m sure you can all tell that I skipped over something, right? I jumped from the 16th century to the 19th century. And neither one of the examples of cockle bread are all that odd. Ok....the game is pretty strange. But kids will do whatever it takes to have fun.
As it turns out, I did skip something. I skipped cockle bread from the 17th century. And it’s the thing that caused me pause. And it has to do with a word found in the childrens rhyme. That word is mould.
In the 17th century, young women would partake in something called moulding. And that’s how they produced cockle bread.
You ready for this?
No....you’re not. but I’m telling you anyway.
You see, a young woman would take a ball of dough and place it between her butt cheeks, and using a twerking like motion, would knead the dough. They would then press the dough against their vagina to put an impression of the labia on the dough. Then they would bake it.
Let that sink in. 17th century women made vagina bread.
But why? Why would they do this?
Well, obviously, they would give the resulting breads to the guy, (or girl), who had caught their fancy. It was a gift in the later stages of courtship, and if you got some cockle bread, that meant the giver had thoughts of naked fun times in her head. And as a bonus, the women would chant
My dame is sick and gone to bed,
And I’ll go mould some cockle bread.
Up with my heels and down with my head,
and that’s the way to mould cockle bread.
By chanting this rhyme, the women believed they were turning the bread into a strong aphrodisiac.
So women in the 17th century made vagina bread to get laid. It’s like, an early version of Grindr, or something. But, depending on where exactly you lived, you had to be careful with your cockle bread. It was viewed by some as an unlawful love charm. And in the 17th century you had to be careful with that as witches made love charms. Yes, not only did young ladies make vagina bread to lure the man of their dreams into their beds, some considered it to be witchcraft.
Now, I want you to scroll back up and look at the picture I posted. Yep...it’s actually cockle bread. I didn’t make it. It would have looked a lot different if I had. Besides, I haven’t found anything about med making their own version. Well....not moulded from their own winky-dinks at least. I’m sure virtually every male baker has made some version of the ol’ bat and balls at some point in his career.
Now, even though I’ve called cockle bread ‘vagina bread’, you shouldn’t confuse cockle bread with actual vagina bread. Actual vagina bread is a sourdough bread made with yeast source from a vaginal yeast infection.
If you’re done gagging, no...I am not making that up. British blogger Zoe Stavri not only made it, but wrote about it, and even ate it.
And people say men are gross because we laugh at farts.......