According to tradition, Christians had to obey food restrictions in order to do penance. Meals were governed by alternating ‘fat’ days and ‘lean’ days. On certain days, meat was forbidden and replaced by fish. Fish farming and preserving methods developed to meet the needs of practising Christians.
The earliest agricultural activities began in the Middle East where bread became a staple food, essential for life. Bread was held in high esteem by several ancient civilisations. In Christianity, it became one of the most important symbols. It was a divine gift, a symbol of generosity and sharing. Everyday gestures and words have evoked the sacred nature of bread.