SAVORING the MOMENT

Cookbook author Mindy Toomay's blog about eating for health, cooking with spirit, and celebrating life in northern California. Here she dishes up food rants and raves, recipes, and plenty of kitchen wisdom.

By your own efforts, waken yourself, watch yourself, and live joyfully.
-- The Dhammapada

Why not make a daily pleasure out of a daily necessity?
-- Peter Mayle

Thursday

Bread lament

I promised rants, so here's one:

Why is the typical American bread so very boring, so lacking in color and structure and personality? Why are most of the loaves on our supermarket shelves loaded with additives? How could something as wonderful as bread come to this?

Bread, after all, is the ancient "staff of life." When properly made, it provides complex carbohydrates, B vitamins, and fiber. Sadly, most American bread delivers nothing but empty calories. Staring at my supermarket shelves, I want to scream. But I don't. I just turn on my heels and go shopping someplace else, where quality is the raison d'etre.

Fortunately -- VERY fortunately -- I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, where food artisans are plentiful, so I have several fantastic bakeries within a few miles of my home. The "real bread" movement is alive and well in other parts of the country, too, providing people with chewy, thick-crusted bread, fermented with high-quality natural yeast, sometimes using whole grain flours, sometimes studded with rosemary or olives or garlic. In short, bread as it was meant to be.

Check out your local options. Maybe there's a baker in town who takes pride in her products, who uses traditional techniques and top-notch ingredients. If she makes a crusty loaf of whole-grain wheat or rye bread, you're in luck. If she doesn't, ask her to start and promise to become her best customer.

Go on, speak up. Demand excellence. It's a revolutionary act in our bleached out, polluted, over-processed culture when we take a stand for what is authentic, pure, and simple.

4 Comments:

At 9:10 PM, Anonymous Diana said...

Right on, Mindy!!! And why are they all so sweet? Even most wholesome whole grain breads I have found, made by artisan bakers, are loaded with honey or sugar. What happened to the taste of pure grain, water, yeast and salt? We are blessed here in West Sac now with a new Nugget Market, offering fresh baked artisan style breads daily. Almost as good as what we turned out of the ovens a couple of times a week in Arbuckle.

Can't wait to see you next week. How great to see this blog from my first kitchen mate in life.

Love you,

Diana

 
At 9:12 PM, Blogger Titi Di said...

Right on, Mindy!!! And why are they all so sweet? Even most wholesome whole grain breads I have found, made by artisan bakers, are loaded with honey or sugar. What happened to the taste of pure grain, water, yeast and salt? We are blessed here in West Sac now with a new Nugget Market, offering fresh baked artisan style breads daily. Almost as good as what we turned out of the ovens a couple of times a week in Arbuckle.

Can't wait to see you next week. How great to see this blog from my first kitchen mate in life.

Love you,

Diana

 
At 9:58 AM, Blogger Mindy T. said...

Hey Di! So glad you dropped by, and yes, I know what you mean about the sugar. If I want sweet bread, I'll buy cinnamon raisin! It was great to see you, but we barely scratched the surface. Come on down to the Bay Area and we'll have a ball going to all the great foodie places.

xxoxoxoxo

 
At 6:04 PM, Anonymous Amy said...

As Julia Child said, "How can a nation be great if its bread tastes like Kleenex?" We are fortuante in Saskatoon to have a little artisinal bakery that makes wonderful European and sourdough breads. It's worth a trip, if you're in the neighborhood.

 

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