Crazy in loaf
The love letter to bread we all ought to write
Is it just me, or is bread getting a load of bad publicity these days? In our over-the-top healthy-leaning state of affairs, where gluten’s crimes almost outweigh those of calories, it seems easy to come up for excuses to push bread to the sidelines. We are living in weird times, with Halloween approaching and baby kale costumes filling Amazon wish lists. And precisely because we need our foods to be superfoods and under 2 calories, we might be forgetting some of the essential and simpler things life: baguette, croissant and pita.
To kick-off our Love Letter series at Mucho, we’re opening up about our profound feelings about bread.
As my man Jesus used to say, “Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us for our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Good ol’ Socialist J, sounded like a wise French man without the Parisian attitude. (Prayer can be repeated with a French accent, if need be). A day without bread, I’d say that is trespassing. Again, life is more about the simple things, like bread and butter, you sinners.
So, in apology of my fellow homo-sapiens, Bread, I offer these love lines to you:
“Hi Bread. It’s me.
I’m taking time to write to you without our daughter, Butter, so we can have this special moment all to ourselves.
I know it’s been a few years since this gluten intolerance started to pop up all over the place, and all this bullying began. Some people are sun-intolerant, some people are bread-intolerant, and some people are afraid of having too many olives in their martini. There’s nothing we can do about this. But maybe people have used this intolerance as an excuse not to address the elephant in the room. What really makes them uncomfortable about your personality is that… you’re a kind of a carb.
You are a carbohydrate.
*pronounces exaggeratedly the word carbohydrate*
So what? I’ve sat here seeing you patiently compromise your cute-as-hell fluffiness and come in those wheat-free and gluten-free versions of yourself. Making clouds of rice, corn, potato or polenta flour as you pass by.
But no matter what you do, it’s not your carb status, people fear you because you’re an enabler. They just want to shoot you down because you’re the messenger.
Burgers, bagels and sandwiches, ya’ll think cheese is a lesser offender?
And when it comes to sourdough, it’s not only the hipsters in Brooklyn who love you so.
Because, as you and I both know, you are just nicer to people when made with fermented dough.
Especially when you’re fresh out of the baker’s, it’s really hard not to find any takers…
*awkwardly opts to stop with the rhyming*
There are other reasons, aside from taste, that make you so easy to love, B. It’s about our mornings together…
Unlike me, you bring your A-game in the mornings. You sit there patiently, looking real fine from across the kitchen, coffee in hand, as if asking me what I want: peach jam, butter or slices of cherry tomato with a sprinkle of oil? And even when you’re not feeling so fresh, you’re not presumptuous, you go straight to the toaster because you know your girl likes it crunchy. You even say you’ll wait for me for a lazy dinner. Thank you.
And last but not least, a shout out that almond croissant side of you. What were you thinking off when you thought of mixing yourself up with almond paste and roasted almonds? You big flirt.
I was going to give that letter to the baker the other day, like a letter to Santa, but he seemed a little afraid so instead I just bought a corn loaf and one olive bread. Do I make it a habit of buying two loafs of bread? Yes. And a third one on the off-days.
So, will bread survive our caloric and gluten phobias? Duh. After all, there must a reason why it has been our go-to staple food for thousands of years (6000AC!).
No one said it better than Pablo Neruda, the Chilean poet, here, in an extract of his Ode to Bread (Oda al Pan):
a miracle often admired,
the will to live itself.
That brother gets me.