The queue on a Saturday morning in a bakery in eastern Netherlands was dragging. Not that the two sale girls were lethargic. It was slow to process each client because all of them wanted their freshly baked loaves freshly sliced. Freshly and uniformly sliced by a machine. I guess the Dutch can understand “the best thing since sliced bread” expression.
Not the Poles, though. Poles prefer to buy the loaves in tact and apply the knife work at home just before eating. Sure, you can get pre-sliced bread here but unsliced ones are deemed to be fresher, homier and more wholesome. Poles are deft at getting uniformed slices. Some even cut the bread without the aid of a chopping board – they hold the bread in one hand and saw through it with the other, now and then pausing and adjusting the angle of the knife to get a uniform cut. It’s part of the breakfast and kolacja (a cold meal in the evening) rituals.