Posts Tagged 'bread'

Oh bread, where art thou?

A comment that gets made relatively often when uninformed acquaintances hear that I’ve been to (or was planning to go to, or have gone to) the US, is ” but the food is terrible!”. I never really understood where this came from and I disagree.

I still disagree. I disagreed the first time someone handed me a pulled pork sandwich, the first time I ate a buttermilk biscuit and the first time I ate chili, philly cheesesteak , grits, a veggie burrito.. I’ll probably keep defending American cuisine ’til the day I die (although I reserve the right to condemn certain things such as kimchi burritos, which sound absolutely terrifying). At the same time, while I am a fan of much American food, I have to concede one point to critics of American cooking and eating:

There is a fair amount of stuff for sale here that you can eat, but that isn’t actually food. This applies in particular to bread.

So far I’ve visited Safeway, Trader Joe’s and Lucky several times and have opted to obtain something resembling bread every time. And every time I end up sad. It has a two-month shelf life, even though not freeze-dried or even sealed. When you eat it, you taste salt and / or sugar. It doesn’t get stale. It doesn’t mold. It has bubbles like a sponge. It doesn’t have crumb. It has a crust, but it has no crunch. It’s supposed to look sort of bread-like, but based on the ingredients it is mostly added-back-vitamins, HFCS, vegetable oil, sugar, salt and preservatives.

So, off to a fancy bakery we went. We paid four dollars for something slightly larger than a paperback. Which was blackened on top and was covered in coarse, brown flour. This bread  had no crunch and a level of chewyness that to me, indicates that the bread is very stale. While I tasted no sugar or salt (yay!), I didn’t taste much else either. Then, elsewhere, we paid another two-and-a-half dollars for a’ baguette’. No crunch, no soft, doughy inside. Just chewy, poorly leavened bread, covered in anise seeds (so I can’t comment on the taste, because ANISE, ANISE EVERYWHERE).

The plan is to buy a bread making machine for making bona fide fresh bread. Simple tastes-of-dough bread with crunchy crust and soft insides. Once I get it, hit me up if you want a sandwich, because I found some lovely avocado and tasty tomatoes (and turkey breast so cheap the the guv’ment  must be subsidizing it).