Half a Loaf - bread as intellectual property
"If nothing is new in food, as someone invariably points out in such discussions, think of the challenges that face anyone dedicated to the staff of life. Flour, water, and yeast are Old Testament elemental. The idea of patenting a bread seems antithetical to the generous spirit that moves most cooks and, I would add, nearly every baker. (To my mind pretty much everything besides bread is a dietary supplement.) Since The Italian Baker was published, in 1985, I have watched several of Carol Field’s recipes and techniques for previously unknown Italian breads spread across the land like the sloppy, barely yeasted, unmanageably wet doughs that, as her book taught, result in the lightest, best-flavored bread. She’s seldom credited, of course..."