The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Our palate has been ruined.

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HeidiH's picture
HeidiH

Our palate has been ruined.

We were at the local hippy-yuppie-organic-free-range grocery store picking up real parmesan and hitting the olive bar when hubby said, "let's make your life a little easier today and buy a loaf of bread."  He picked out something dense and boasting a plethora of tasty grains.  I tried it this morning.  It tastes like .... nothing.   Not just nothing, unpleasant nothing.  Too little salt?  Stale grain?  Who knows ... or cares.  I guess I'd better get started making some bread this afternoon.  Sigh.  First, we become unable to eat anything but homemade soups and now this!?!  I've been making homemade ricotta lately and it's much better than store-bought.  There's a horrible trend underway ...

PClark's picture
PClark

I have slowly ruined ours too, I guess. I recently retired and now I spend my days making english muffins, bagels, cinnamon bread, Italian bread, raisin cookies,  yogurt and clothes washing detergent and fabric softener. Because the cleaning products work great and are less costly and the baked goods taste so much better.  Some days I wonder what I did without my list of things to make and bake. And I hadn't even thought about the preserves and soups I put up.  I have not tried any cheeses but I have that on my list of things I might want to try. Later.  

G-man's picture
G-man

It is tragic, isn't it? To think that people still eat plastic wrapped loaves of air and think it's real food...

I can't think of anything I've made that hasn't beaten store-bought by a wide margin. The average US citizen spends less of their income on food than any other country in the world. I can't help but think this is because people think processed packaged almost-food made with ammonia-soaked "meat" constitutes a real dinner. You can get so much better without spending so much more, and in the end you probably save money on future medical costs anyway.

Ambimom's picture
Ambimom

I haven't eaten store bought bread (except in other people's houses or restaurants) in the last four or five years. I make two loaves of sourdough wheat every ten days or so supplemented occasionally by white sandwich bread or Norm's onion rolls. Last week I made ricotta for the first time......so easy it's almost embarrassing not to make it at home. The only problem is that you have to search for milk that is NOT ultra-pasteurized or you can't make cheese at all. Luckily my local Pathmark has Organic Valley pasteurized. There's a lot of whey left over which I just tossed, but next time I make cheese, I'm going to coordinate breadmaking with it so I can use the whey for my bread..

Toad.de.b's picture
Toad.de.b

Their breads are awful.  No excuse.  Should be superb.  YMMV, but the WFMs we visit -- forget bread.  But they do sell KA organic bread flour.  Yay!

Our local "hippy-yuppie-organic-free-range grocery" makes waste o' good flour breads too.  I've left notes in their comment box asking "Does anyone back there actually taste this stuff before you put it out?"  No response.

America's a young country.  We're not there yet.

HeidiH's picture
HeidiH

Our first local "Whole Paycheck" doesn't open until October.  We'll soon have all the major conveniences.  LOL

Toad.de.b's picture
Toad.de.b

We're a day's drive from the nearest WFM and glad of it.  Too tempting.  Still fun to visit when we dust off and hit the big burg.

 

JayRob's picture
JayRob

Heidi.

There is some talk that when the K-mart accross Jackson Blvd from where Whole Paycheck is going in closes, it could be replaced with a Trader Joe's

HeidiH's picture
HeidiH

Right down the hill from me.  Well, 5 miles or so.  Poor Earth Fare won't know what hit it.

aytab's picture
aytab

I know exactly what you mean, I'm getting to where I can't eat out at all anymore, and when I do I am dying of thirst for hours due to the massive amounts of salt in everything most places serve. I have my friends on facebook doing an experiment: when they go to a fast food joint I am asking them to slow way down when they eat and actually chew and taste what they are eating. If one does this then fast food becomes inedible. It is horrible horrible stuff. My wife brought home a loaf of "plastic wrapped white bread" the other day and I couldn't eat it.

tn gabe's picture
tn gabe

You're 'un-ruining' it!

Don't start: making jam/preserves/pickles, gardening, buying real eggs and meat, or roasting your own coffee. It can get worse! Soon it won't be just store bought bread you won't eat anymore. 

HeidiH's picture
HeidiH

I ordered sausage casings over the weekend.

PClark's picture
PClark

I haven't gotten into sausage yet, but I am sitting here with a hundred packages of vegetable seeds planning my garden.  Well, maybe not a hundred but it feels like it. It does get worse and now I might have to think about sausage. I have a meat grinder. I've gone as far as grinding some pork. And making roast beef hash. Hmm.

aytab's picture
aytab

I have been planning my garden as well, but I need to learn how to can vegetables. Anybody know of any good teaching websites for that?

 

HeidiH's picture
HeidiH

"Your federal tax dollars at work" have resulted in lots of home food preservation instructional materials through agriculatural extension.  Extension services are most likely to give you instructions that won't poison you.  What I would do is run a google search sticking the word extension in with whatever you are wanting to do, e.g. applesauce canning extension.  You are likely to find some easy-to-print pamphlets and videos.  Ball, the canning jar people, also have an instructional site at http://www.freshpreserving.com.

G-man's picture
G-man

http://www.punkdomestics.com/

One of the best sites I've found for folks interested in preserving their own food.

I'm really happy to see that you've decided to make your own sausage, Heidi! It's amazing how much better it is than the stuff you buy at the store. Just remember to keep the meat cold throughout the process...and I do mean really cold, like...icy, though not frozen.

While I have no problem with eating the "variety meats" and seek them out for many preparations, I find commercial sausage to be too heavily seasoned with very little room left over for the meat, probably because the manufacturers use extremely cheap meat that didn't have much flavor to begin with.

You haven't lived until you've eaten a bratwurst you made yourself, in a bun you baked, topped with sauerkraut you fermented, and mustard you prepared.

HeidiH's picture
HeidiH

My understanding is that the meat is easier to grind if it's almost frozen so I will be doing that.  But also, to keep things completely safe, I'm going to poach the sausages so they'll be frozen fully cooked.  I'm nervous about playing with the meat and then storing it without cooking it first. 

 

gerhard's picture
gerhard

The reason to have the meat really cold is that the fat can gum up the grinder, if the fat is cold it will more like be pushed through the grinder.  The other factor in grinding is the % of fat as compared to meat, the more fat the more likely that you will need to use it very cold.

Gerhard

G-man's picture
G-man

There's a protein in meat that lets it stay together and stay moist. When it's warm and being worked like it would be in a grinder/stuffer, this protein can break down, releasing most of the meat's moisture. The end result is a mealy, dry texture, which is really unappealing. It was a difficult experience to make it through, but ever since I've made sure the meat was at least a little icy, and rested the mixture in a bowl sitting in an ice bath while stuffing. Every liquid I use (wine, beer, vinegar, cream, sometimes water) is chilled to near-freezing. Every little thing to keep the mixture as cold as possible.

fermento's picture
fermento

... we have forgotten what so much real, fresh, ripe food tastes like.

I go into a specialist food store and stock up big on exotic, expensive foods from all over the globe - but it's all weeks, months old and often a very poor example. We accept huge variety at the cost of true quality. And then we go to foreign lands, taste the local delicacies and think how wonderful. When really it's mostly just about local, fresh food, freshly prepared.

Thanks for a thoughtful post.

 

JayRob's picture
JayRob

While I'm at it, I make my own wine and beer too (after all, what is bread other than beer with not enough water)

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

all the way Jay Rob.  I make as much food stuff as I can, and grow what I can,  because what you can buy for the same price is just horrible and usually inedible.   I thought beer was bread with too much water :-)

linder's picture
linder

When the women in my quilt group complain about $5 a loaf bread, I think about how much bread you can make with $5 of flour AND how much better it tastes.

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Interesting timing on my reading this post as my 15 year old was complaining about how he wants store bought bagels because my breads/bagels taste nothing like the breads he has tasted that come from stores.....which he samples at friends' houses...

Did I mention he IS 15 and his life goal these days is to contradict anything that comes via me or his dad?????

His complaint was followed by my agreeing that my breads do indeed taste different and that he is welcome to spend his own money on bagels he prefers.  He is our 3rd child and I have learned that arguing is pointless as it IS the point of most of our 'conversations'  :-)

On the other hand, my husband was recently at a hotel where bagels were being offered as part of the morning meal.  He took one but literally spit it out after one bite.....He really appreciates my bread baking labors and that makes it all worth while.  The kid will move out eventually....hopefully the husband never will :-)

Thanks for the post!

Janet

jaywillie's picture
jaywillie

I like Trader Joe's, but I'm fully aware that it's owned by German billionaire brothers (well, brother -- one died in 2010) who also own Aldi, a German discount supermarket chain. That carefully cultivated TJ counter-culture, neighborhood, "just folks" vibe is all marketing. It doesn't lessen their products, but be aware of where your money is going. I'm not trying to be political, just informative.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trader_Joe's