Cake and bread for breakfast? Now that sounds great!
After making this quick little drawing, I wanted to find out a bit more about that widely known sentence (I paraphrase): “The peasants have no bread? Why don’t they eat cake?”
According to Wikipedia, it turns out that the phrase is commonly misattributed to Marie Antoinette.
And apparently, it wasn’t even about cake. How disappointing. And it might not have happened at all, but instead it might just be an invented anecdote in Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s autobiography.
“Finally I recalled the stopgap solution of a great princess who was told that the peasants had no bread, and who responded: ‘Let them eat brioche.'” (Jean-Jacques Rousseau)
In the same Wikipedia article, it then talks about that even Rousseau’s version of events could be based on a much older anecdote.
“An ancient Chinese emperor who, being told that his subjects didn’t have enough rice to eat, replied, ‘Why don’t they eat meat?'”
The phrase was attributed to Emperor Hui of Jin in Zizhi Tongjian.
(Zhu Muzhi, president of the China Society for Human Rights Studies)
The good news
Cake can go well with bread and – if you want – you can of course also have rice and meat for breakfast.
Oh, yes, and going forward I will make sure that I’ll do a quick fact check before I grab pen and paper to draw random thoughts.