I'm a bit of a food snob. I'll admit it. I blame some of it on the fact that I lived in Belgium when I was seven and eight. There, we picked up fresh food each day because... that's how you do it. The meat (aside from the horse that my mom accidentally bought early on in our sojourn there and couldn't figure out why it wasn't browning) was fantastic. The bread? Beyond so. And oh the pastries....
Here? Sigh. It's really hard to find, and it's so expensive so often.
I look at the ingredients on the "fresh" bread loaves, and there are things I've never heard of before. That's not the wonderful European bread I'm looking for. The worst was last week when a friend dropped off a loaf of "European style, gourmet Italian" bread because she is going on a diet and bread doesn't figure into her eating plan.
We ate a few slices of it, but there was still some left over on Friday. I went to pull out a slice to go with the goat cheese and smoked salmon omelet I had made for myself for lunch. It was wonderfully still soft. Orrrr maybe not to wonderfully. Bread is supposed to go stale, but this was still pillow soft. I squeezed it, mentally rolling my eyes. Then I noticed the mold. The bright green and pink mold. The entire loaf was going bad but retained its not so natural dreamy soft texture. Ew.
There are some wonderful traditional bakeries near me, and I patronize them from time to time. And this is a good reason why I bake so much, I think. At least I know what I put in my food, and it goes stale before freaky colored things start growing on it. And that's assuming that mold even starts going on it at all. There are some foods that just... keep hanging around.
Me? That's not what I want to eat. It's why I make most of my food from scratch at home. It's why I avoid processed foods whenever possible. And now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to make toast for breakfast with some of my homemade sourdough bread. And maybe - just maybe - I'll stop by a true European bakery for something special a little later.
When I eat, I want to love what's going in my mouth and enjoy it. How about you? What's your food philosophy? Or better yet, what are your horror stories?
In the interest of full disclosure, this post was part of the From Left to Write book club where we write posts inspired by books we read rather than true reviews. This month's book "The Baker's Daughter" by Sarah McCoy was sent to me, but I received no compensation. The novel follows a reporter in 2007 interviewing about German Christmas traditions and flashes back to Elsie's time living in Nazi Germany where she worked for her family's bakery. As always, all opinions remain my own.