Tuesday, July 04, 2006
When Is Multi-grain Bread Really Multi-grain?
T&T Supermarket Utane Bread - Multi, Toasted
I have to admit that while a beautifully crisp-crusted French baguette or a wonderfully chewy ciabatta will please me to no end, I really do like soft squishy breads. Especially given the choice between an overly hard crusty bread that'll scrape against the roof of my mouth, and a nice soft one that won't hurt at all when I eat it. I suspect this might in part be a Chinese thing, as I heard once that our palates tend to be softer on average than Caucasian palates. I don't know the causal relationship, or if this is even true. If it is, perhaps our palates are softer because we don't have crusty breads in the cuisine, and everyone else has spent their lives toughening theirs up, and then in turn there is no desire to make crustier breads. Or perhaps it's simply a physiological thing, like the 50% or more of us Asians that lack the alcohol dehygrogenase in our bellies to help metabolize great quantities of alcohol quickly. Anyway, sometimes I go to a T & T Supermarket and buy their very boxy squishy half loaves or full loves of bread. The very regular shape pleases me, and I see no reason for sliced bread to always have that billowy top to it. It's just a matter of baking it in a deeper vessel. Reminds me of Potato Salad Boy, who was particularly taken with the neat and tidy shape of the "cube fries" at the PNE, where they cooked their curly fries so that it wound up looking like a Borg cube. Don't look too hard for these this year, by the way. They mysteriously disappeared a few years ago. Perhaps not everyone is as anal as my friend and I.
Well getting back to the bread, this last trip to T&T, I discovered their "multi-grain." I just enjoyed some of it toasted. The grains they're talking about though, are black sesame seeds throughout and possibly a few sunflower seeds, and the light whole wheat content of the bread itself probably. Doesn't have that annoying "healthy taste" at all! I don't know about you, but to me, when I'm choosing bread at the store, "multi-grain" often reads as "cardboard" and any disappointment that I feel with it is generally balanced out by the thought that "at least it's better for me than the white bread." Not always of course. And I sometimes do enjoy the hearty flavours of those grains. And now a company has even started packaging roasted flax seeds in little packets so that you can add it to your food anytime. I tried one of my free samples from the Eat! Vancouver goody bag, and it's surprisingly tasty as well as convenient as a topping for yoghurt in a packed lunch, for example. I'm not really convinced that this T&T "multi-grain" is better for me than the white bread, but maybe it's better for me than the buttery coconut swirl bread I usually get there, hee hee. But I don't usually eat that with strawberry jam and butter. I don't want to get into a debate about what technically is considered a grain and how much you need to make something certifiably multi-grain. I'll leave that to the real bakers, like Bac'n Girl and her cohorts, to quibble about. I'm happy with my occassional fakey bread from T&T (check out this link for web coupons).