Our Daily Bread : Soapbox Liane Hansen took a trip to Saint Vincent Archabbey and Gristmill in Latrobe, Pa., to learn how Benedictine monks have milled flour for their daily bread since 1854.
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Our Daily Bread

Benedictine monks immigrated from Bavaria in 1846 to establish a monastery and college in the foothills of Pennsylvania's Allegheny Mountains. They chose the tiny town of Latrobe, about an hour east of Pittsburgh, to establish Saint Vincent Archabbey.

By 1854 the monastery had already grown considerably -- and along with it, the number of monks in residence.

That's when Saint Vincent constructed its own gristmill. In keeping with Benedictine tradition, the monks did the construction work. They made the bricks by hand and used Chestnut -- harvested from the surrounding forests -- to construct the mill. Their choice of materials, and their craftsmanship, were expert -- more than 150 years later, the mill is still operating, providing flour for Saint Vincent Archabbey's daily bread.

Hear the Gristmill's story.

Bounty of Liane Hansen's trip to the Archabbey, here in our DC studio. That's a bag of Saint Vincent flour, along with a locally-roasted bag of Saint Lazarus Coffee. See exactly where it came from, and how it was made, in the slideshow below. hide caption

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Slideshow best viewed in full-screen for added detail -- click the four divergent arrows in the righthand corner.