Monday, December 16, 2013
Artisan Bread: Don't Put It Away
The advertising business has a maxim that goes something like, "If you want your message to get through, repeat it. Then repeat it again. And again. And again. [etc.]" It's why we remember classic slogans like "it's the real thing," "the un-cola" and "you deserve a break today."
We got to the beach and, when we'd used some of the bread with our crab Louies and it was time to clean up, I just couldn't do it. The bread was popped into a plastic bag and went into the fridge. It was fine, of course, but lost that crusty crunch of an artisan loaf.
road trip to the Okanagan region of BC to check out its food and wine scene and ran across an artisan bakery called Walla in Penticton. We bought a loaf of artisan bread from owner Benjamin Manea, a Romanian-born Israeli, and as we left he said in a stern, heavily accented voice, "Before you buy, you need to know about this bread." He instructed us to never, ever put the bread in a plastic bag in the fridge, that when it’s cut open it needs to be stored cut edge down on the counter and that it would last for four days. As we were paying, he grumbled something about people not knowing how to take care of fresh bread.
My brother, who regularly is given a loaf so his son can have toast for breakfast in the morning before heading off to school, leaves it on the counter as instructed. But if it happens to be a day when their housekeeper comes to clean, she wraps the bread in plastic and puts it in the fridge. I guess she just hasn't heard the message often enough yet.