A wave of flatulence ripped through genteel Dundee society in 1846 as men of substance fled the city to escape the cause of this scourge.
They dined in Arbroath or Perth or indeed any town where sour bread was not served.
These were among the often theatrical claims made as a vicious row blew up over the state of the city’s bread and the condition of workers in bakeries.
Just before Christmas that year apprentice bakers began complaining about their conditions and a public meeting was held to hear their concerns.
These boys had to work 16 hours a day indoor before returning to insanitary garrets or cellars.
They had no access to washing facilities and the lack of daylight and the repetitiveness of work left many physically deformed.
The baker boys’ call for fixed hours and a set rate of pay did not go down well among the master bakers.
However, they found an ally in George Lewis, a minister who had arrived in Dundee from Edinburgh via Perth.
It was Mr Lewis who made the sensational claim Dundee had the sourest bread in Scotland and linked the quality of the product to the condition of the workers.
Mr Lewis did seem to suggest the bread was being adulterated as part of the workers’ protest.
At the public meeting he did not hold back.
He called master bakers the most dissolute and depraved of all the trades, hard swearers and hard drinkers.
He criticised them for herding together in leisure hours and rarely mixing with other trades.
On top of that they were mean when it came to charitable contributions.
“This good old trade has some bad old customs which it is high time, both for master and man, were redressed.”
It did not make him popular in Dundee and opponents attacked Lewis for his stance on American slavery.
One correspondent to The Courier wrote: “It may be that having no sympathy with black slaves in America, his conscience is eased by pouring compassion on the white men of Dundee.”