My mother refused to cut off the end crusts and didn't discover I secretly peeled them off until we had a mouse infestation from me dropping the torn off crusts behind the kitchen nook, where hundreds of these hardened crusts were discovered after our cat was found scratching at the nook. After that I was forced to eat the crusts and still do.
Ethan was telling me about this bread that has no preservatives, artificial colors or flavors, no high fructose or corn syrup, but was a great source of fiber. The problem with this bread, though, is that it is stiff and tasteless as cardboard and even if you toast it there's no way you can savor a BLT with avocado like you can on good old plain white bread filled with every unhealthy additive known to man that might kill you! The only way this bread was any good was to fry it in butter and olive oil, and even then it tasted better with jelly or peanut butter added.
Today, at the modest super market I go to in Morro Bay--Spencer's—there is a cornucopia of breads on shelves from which to pick, though Ethan advises me to buy bread at a certain bakery in San Luis Obispo and also recommended another health-proven bread at Trader Joe's, which I tried, and which was flourless and low glycemic and referred to as “biblical Bread” in its purity and indeed included quotations from the bible reinforcing its quality and worth on the package.
One thing I won't be is brow-beaten by religious doctrine, especially over this particular bread, which was as stiff and tasteless and cardboard-like as the other two expensive health breads, so that it was beyond toasting (I have no toaster) and I had to again fry it in butter and olive oil and slather it with peanut butter and jelly.
In a bread quandary, of late I have spent an inordinate amount of time studying the bread shelves, possibly more time than I've ever spent on any product in any market in my life, in the desired goal of finding a bread that is both tasty and healthy, though there seems no in between, even if Ethan insists that there exists out there a bread meeting my stated desires.
A lot of the major name brands from the corporate world are now producing wheat and various health and high fiber guaranteed breads for a cheaper price than the very expensive so-called and organic health breads of smaller companies, and I tried one loaf, and it was dreadful and failed to improve from my frying recipe and I tossed the entire loaf into the waste basket in a rage, as this disgusting bread was not even fit for pigeons and gulls at the beach.
Lately, after experimenting with several small business brands arising in the newly formed bread & wine capitol of now gentrified and culture/fussy San Luis Obispo, where wine reigns, I discovered Brian's Bread, which produces sour dough, wheat, rye, rolls, rosemary and olive oil sourdough, and surprisingly enough, good old fashioned white bread, sliced thick, and containing only yeast, unbleached flour (whatever that is), salt and water. I waited until the day it was brought in fresh, took it home and anticipated my consumption of it with an excitement bordering on having sex with a lusciously appointed woman. At the cash register the girl checking my groceries vouched for my claim that Brian's Bread was about the best around, stated that the entrepreneur, Brian himself, who brought it in was a 'really nice guy,' and asked, “Did you try the Rye? It's so-oooo good, you can eat it with nothing on it, like food!”
I told her, “I'm trying the white here because I'm looking for a healthy white bread for a BLT or peanut butter and jelly or ham or roast beef sandwich.”
“Oh yes!” she enthused. “A BLT with avocado on Brian's white is heaven on earth.”
“Especially when the beefsteak tomatoes are in season,” I exclaimed excitedly. But, well, I know bacon's bad for you, and tomatoes weren't in season, so I pointed to some freshly sliced premium roast beef I'd purchased at the deli, and told the girl, “I'm going to have this roast beef and chedder on just old plain Brian's white bread with horse radish and mayo and no frills.”
“Ooooh, gee, that sounds so good!”
Well, it was. Brian's white bread is so rich and full bodied and tasty and spongy and cut thick and wide that I was filled with a sense of sexual ardor when I bit into my sandwich. Brian's bread, so simple, and without all the myriad chemicals and additives written in microscopic printing on corporate bread was truly scrumptious and, at the age of 73, aroused my appetite and respect for bread and was a discovery of high excitement after all these years of taking bread for granted, of never thinking about it nor studying what's in it and instead concentrating on what's ON the bread instead of the bread itself, bread being the “staff of life,” our very basic, simple sustenance, the one food people starving to death in poor countries can substitute for other essential foods, and which is more plentiful and easier to make, that you see French people walking around with a long skinny loaf sticking out of a shopping bag, yes, goddammit, bread has been short-changed and now, to me, I am on the verge of being a bread aficionado, perhaps a connoisseur, a pursuer of bread in all its new found diversity and creativity...a breadie...?
Right now, I have two sliced loaves on my counter and two in my freezer and am looking for more better bread to exceed what I have experienced with Brian's Bread, of which I have not tried the recommended rye by the checker, Eileen, or the wheat (I'm not fond of wheat and find it a bit tasteless and sawdust-like in all its trendy health consciousness), though I have tried the olive oil/rosemary sour dough fried in butter, but you have to eat it as is without jelly or peanut butter because those don't go together.
I'm thinking of visiting bakeries throughout the county in quest of the ultimate healthy, tasteful bread that might invigorate my appetite, my new found lust for bread. I might consult my sister who like me was also raised on spongy white bread (though mother, a nurse, prepared well balanced healthy meals) and is a fine cook and purchases high quality healthy food products and has become, like her husband, a bit of an effete wine sipper. They were up here visiting me from their tony enclave down south and took me to a few vineyards for wine tasting, seemed to know one wine from another while I could not and hardly sip wine, and it occurs to me I might have to inform her that wine is but a luxury fussed over by wealthy elites, over-cultured pampered people who have lost their way and would be better off concentrating their attention on bread, so as to appreciate bread, though there is a possibility they don't eat bread or very little bread, because perhaps bread has in it natural sugar and fattening junk that they have studied and feared in hope of extending long and happy lives.
I'm sure few of the women or men at my yoga class would take bread over a sip of good Chardonnay or Pinot Noir, and the other day I spotted one of my yoga classmates, a woman, picking out the very expensive cardboard health bread that claimed to have 21 grains and astronomical amounts of fiber, the brand I previously mentioned and was impossible to eat without frying in butter and olive oil and is worthless for any kind of sandwich. I felt compelled to ask her if she ate such a tasteless almost offensive bread without toasting or frying it in butter or olive oil, but decided not to in fear I might insult her life style when it comes to bread.
After she walked away with her $5.99 loaf of bread, I studied the multitude of loaves—sprouted whole grain, butter bread, potato bread, multi-grain bread, sheepherder's bread, cracked wheat with oats bread, a bread containing quinoa, chia, teff and kamut, none of which I know anything about, and supposedly (ha ha) a corporate “whole grain white bread,” among others. And this is just a moderate sized non corporate market, not a gigantic supermarket. My woman informed me there are massive bread meccas run by gourmet bread bakers who are possibly chefs.
For instance, while heading south to see my sister, my woman and I stopped at a bakery in Los Alamos for muffins and coffee and they sold their “gourmet” bread for $15.00 a loaf. When I asked the owner/baker/coffee roaster why it was so expensive and what was in it he acted snotty and snooty and refused to divulge his secret outside of informing me he had spent years studying the creation of bread before opening his establishment and walked off in a snit. I meant to ask him what kind of person paid $15.00 for a loaf of bread and why was his coffee $4.00 a cup when my woman pulled me away, claiming it was excellent coffee if over-priced.
My concern for bread that is rapidly blooming into a small obsession has only began recently, so there's plenty of questions I have for plenty of people who eat bread, and I cannot deny I am somewhat stoked about this new found adventure, and I am also thankful and feel it is about time bread has become an artisan's delight in a new gourmet industry yet remains simple enough so that a product like Brian's white bread with but 4 basic ingredients does not ruin a good BLT and does not need to be fried in butter and olive oil, though the other day I did this with Brian's white and it was excellent and needed no peanut butter or jelly.