Thursday, November 11, 2010

By Bread Alone

It's possible I could not live by bread alone but it's worth a try. There are worse ways to go. I'd give up in half a day if I was restricted to white bread (Wonder Bread , Silvercup) but I can imagine a diet feasting on corn rye with caraway seeds. Toasted raisin pumpernickel is a meal in itself. Then there are warm baguettes of sour dough and French bread to say nothing of the olive and rosemary variety. I could make a banquet of bagels; onion was my favorite until pumpkin came along.

I might put myself to the test, one day, by ordering a Reuben sandwich in a kosher deli and tell them to hold the pastrami, cheese and sauerkraut; the twice-baked rye bread would suffice. Or I could have a plate of focaccia bread in a Ristorante and just imagine the tomato and olive oil. Pita bread demands a bit more magical realism to make of it a meal. But sopapilla (fried bread) from New Mexico to Argentina could keep me going through a few seasons. Would I be stretching the point with a basketful of croissants? An in-breath from the oven is all I need when a challah is baking its heart out.

To add or rather subtract from my life expectancy I see that zucchini has morphed from cake to loaf to its new designation as a bread. I have no strenuous objections.

Before sliced bread, I remember my mother holding a golden-brown rye against her chest producing perfect slices at the risk of her life. This is a lost art today with the slicing machine in the bakery and its three settings. Peggy likes her egg bread extra thin and then toasted. Anyone knows that bread is meant to be chewy. But I would fight with my life for her right to be wrong.

Is it any wonder I've now been diagnosed as a borderline diabetic? From now on the bread of choice must be multi-grain whole wheat which has fewest carbs. I'm not sure I can hold myself upright with this as my staff of life.


  1. It was tough reading this just before breakfast but you set me straight at the end.

  2. Beautiful writing. That, and a bialy bagle with cream cheese and marmalade is making my day a lot brighter. Thanks. Jack