The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

What did you grow up eating?

mse1152's picture

What did you grow up eating?

Happy Fall, everyone (or at least, everyone in the Northern Hemisphere),

This idea just popped into my head. What kind of bread(s) did you grow up on?

I grew up in the 50s and 60s eating Wonder Bread, and sometimes the exotic Buttermilk Wonder Bread, or even (gasp!) 'wheat' Wonder Bread. I don't think they actually called it 'whole wheat', just 'wheat'. As if the the white version is made from...not wheat? We took many trips to a Wonder Bread bakery outlet, where we loaded up on day-old loaves to store in the freezer. I think they were about 25 cents apiece at the time. As an aside, I read recently that Wonder Bread won't be sold in southern CA anymore starting sometime later this year.

I think I was first exposed to bread with food value after I moved to California in the 70s. No wonder I never got tall. The first time I made bread was in 9th grade biology class, when we were studying who knows what. Didn't do it again for decades.

How about you?


qahtan's picture


 Well yes, we had bread., it was called house hold bread, it looked like dirty white bread, :-))) I was evacuated during WWII. From London UK to Devonshire, UK for almost 3 years,and my breakfast was an OXO cube,(bullion cube) in hot water with a slice of toasted house hold bread.

 Even to this day I like OXO in hot water with a slice of toast, home made bread. ;-)))

 The strange part about this was I came home for Christmas  1942, and stayed home and in 1943 was bombed out................qahtan


naschol's picture

I grew up on white, fluffy bread made by the local bakery.  It was very similar to Wonder bread, but made in our small hometown.  Anyway, my favorite way to have it was soaked in heavy cream and sprinkled with granulated sugar or spread with jam.  Can't believe the way we ate, back then! :-)



AnnieT's picture

Bread was delivered by horse and cart, and I imagine it was from the Co-op - English members will know what I mean. We got large loaves that had good deep baked crusts, almost black, great fun to pick off flakes when mom wasn't looking. I do remember the baker's horse biting me and I still have the scars on my fingers lo these many years later. Bread was toasted in front of a blazing fire using a long toasting fork, as were crumpets. I don't remember the national flour but I asked an English friend and she said her mother baked with it, to the scorn of a neighbor who called it dirty. I wasn't evacuated, quahtan, despite living near Birmingham and Coventry. Doesn't it all seem a long time ago? A

cej2's picture

We had homemade bread and I was embarassed because my school mates got to have store bread. Probably Wonder bread...The girls had these nice little white bread sandwiches, with the crusts cut off ...mine were brown... I was so envious. Later I learned that the girls told their mom's that I was so lucky because my mom baked bread...KIDS!!!!

susanfnp's picture

It was all sliced sandwich bread, white, oatmeal, or soft "multigrain" bread. Pepperidge Farm sticks in my mind, but I'm sure there were others. Never Wonder, though.

When I got to college I lived in a student co-op house and we ate home-baked bread. We each had to sign up for a job every week and one was making the bread. This was one of the better jobs, as most of the others involved some sort of cleaning. We were to use only whole grains. The problem was no one, except one person who made a mean anadama, really knew how to do it, so the bread was dense, dry and crumbly, but we dutifully ate it.


dmsnyder's picture

In the late 40s' until the early 60's my town in Central California had a really good Jewish bakery. I grew up on all the standard Jewish breads - rye, pumpernickle, challah, kaiser rolls. I remember sitting in the car, double parked often, while my mother ran into the bakery to pick up our order. I got to eat the end of the fresh baked rye, my favorite. The baker died around 1970. His son took over the bakery but died not too long afterwards. (Poorly controlled diabetes.) His mother kept the bakery going for a couple decades more, but the quality was never the same.

I also grew up on San Francisco sourdough, of the kind one cannot get anymore, at least to my taste.
Now, I bake a pretty good sourdough rye and, occasionally, bagels and a variety of French style sourdoughs. What I haven't tried to duplicate is the pastries I remember, especially the cheese pockets. The pastry was neiher French nor Danish style. It was yellow and chewy rather than flacky. I've not been able to find a recipe that looked like it would produce it. <sigh>

Ramona's picture

I grew up on white bread, completely free of nutrition, that my mother was able to buy 5 or 6 loaves for $1.00.  It is amazing how the human body will endure, because we only ate all our food cooked, nothing raw. 

noelvn's picture

During the 60's and 70's, my mother and us kids ate Wonderbread. My father, OTOH, was cosidered a bread eccentric because he liked "brown bread". For a long time, all he could find was something from Pepperidge Farm, but as the 70's whole foods thing gained steam, another "wholer" wheat appeared in our neighborhood supermarket. We called it "Da's heavy bread" because each loaf weighed more than a pound (!!).

As a teen, I got adventurous foodwise, and tried the "heavy bread" From there on out, Da had competition for his heavy loaves.

Another byproduct of the 70's was my mother learning to bake bread. She just made the basic Joy of Cooking white bread, but the entire family loved it when she'd make it -- of course we always ate it hot from the oven. After she died in my late teens, I tried making it once but it didn't rise, and for whatever deep psycho-mumble-mommy reason, that was highly traumatic. I baked lots of other stuff, but didn't try doing bread again for years...

...until college and communal hippie housing, where making whole wheat bread was de rigeur, and anything that rose was considered a blazing success. Luckily for me, I started out using the Tassajara sponge method, and my sponged bread always rose, even in spite of all the random rolled-oat-y grains and mysterious non-wheat flours I threw at it. So I concluded that sponges were vehicles of some serious bread juju.

Only now we call them preferments. But they've still got that juju going...

xabanga's picture

I grew up in the south of France and I was spoiled on French bread. Every morning my mother would give me 3 Francs, and I would run down to our neighborhood bakery and buy our daily bread, either a "flute", a baguette, or a "fougasse." The first time I made bread was in third grade (a class project) and it was baked our school's oven. We forgot to add salt, so it tasted pretty bland :( When we moved to the US, my mother started making a basic w/w boule, and I used to help her. Now we both bake on a regular basis :)

mattie405's picture

I spent weekdays with my mother on Manhattans upper east side where we never had sliced bread in the house, she used to wake us up in the middle of the night and walk us down to a bakery that made fresh light kaiser rolls and we would get a few of them. On the weekends at my grandparents I would have rye, pumpernickle, and a store bought bread called Daffodil Farms, I think they stopped producing it in the early 70's but it was the only bread of the white variety my grandfather would eat, it reminded me of the Pepperidge Farm sliced bread. My father who lived upstate would bake bread sometimes in the old woodstove he used to heat the house but none of the women in my family (until me) ever took to cooking or least not willingly, my grandmother was a good cook but for the life of me I can't remember my mother ever cooking anything but a simple chicken with potatoes in the oven, dinner during the week was usually a grilled cheese sandwich or a simple can of Campbells soup, the weekends were filled with pot roast and vegetable soups and fish on Fridays. As I hit about 10 years old I took over the cooking at my mothers and created things I had only seen pictures of.......guess I was lucky I didn't poison mom or my sister with my experiments back then. Got my first cookbook when I got married at 18 but to this day have never really made a recipe from any of them. Started trying my hand at breads late last year and am enjoying it, thanks mostly to this site.

maggie664's picture

In the 1950's in Christchurch, NZ white bread was what everyone called bread. My mother didn't bother to buy the 'brown' bread because she said it was white bread coloured with caramel, and she was probably right because I can't recall seeing anything fibrous in its texture. My brother and I, when collecting our bread from the corner store where we bought our bread, got into a bit of occasional trouble if there was a large hole in the loaf when we got it home! But boy, filched fresh bread bits tasted good. Packing wasn't a rule so goodness knows how many hands had handled it before it was our turn. The nicest bread I have ever tasted was the whole grain no-knead bread we made when we lived briefly on a commune. We hand-ground g[ood quality wheat and baked the loaves in a coal range as we had no electricity - just coal which we mined ourselves from an abandonned coal mine not far away. They were great days of yore but now that i am in my 60's i am grateful for a flash kitchen and electricity. But if the worst came to the worst, with a more modern coal range installed in the kitchen of our house, I would still be able to make and bake a real artisan loaf! M

browndog's picture

Sue, this is a brilliant bit of social anthropology and the most fascinating thread I have ever come across here at tfl, no small feat. If only we could get every poster to give us a couple more pages, what a grand publishing event.

My own sad little story: imagine suburban Cincinnati 40 years ago (ok you can stop now,) where good food to us kids meant our own 16 oz bottle of Coke and a bag of potato chips. The only time anything home-baked appeared in our kitchen was the holidays, when my father would produce a litany of pies: apple, pumpkin, and the dreaded mince. Bread was invariably Wonder, which I liked toasted and sprinkled with sugar, or made into ketchup or Miracle Whip sandwiches, mm-m, or the ubiquitous pb and grape jelly, aged a few hours so the jelly side turned scary shades of purple.

Exotic meant a loaf of Pepperidge Farms rye, or a loaf of pseudo-French bread slathered up with garlic butter to go with a spaghetti meal, and English Muffins, usually Thomas's.

In those days men didn't wear beards, people didn't get divorced, and nobody made their own bread. 

In much later years my dad got 'religion' and had the same challenge others relate finding whole wheat whole wheat bread. Roman Meal often stood in. Not til he retired to New England in the eighties did his appetite for hearth breads find true succor. He also took to making his own--a rather dubious no-white flour, no-salt, no-knead affair, that he liked to leave on the counter for days so as not to 'spoil' the crust, which ultimately required a hack saw to cut.

ehanner's picture

I grew up in the Midwest part of the US. My parents moved to Michigan from Illinois for a job with an engineering company. I recall eating my favorite soup (tomato) with crackers and white bread sandwiches. My brothers and I would be dispatched to the corner store for a loaf and milk. Later my father discovered a Mexican family that made tortillas and tamales not far from us. They were great and I still scout out tamales from small area restaurants when I can. My mother bought a bread machine early when they became popular. That's really the first time I remember knowing what good bread tasted like. The bread machine was my transition into baking. After 30 or so loaves in the machine, I knew what the dough should feel like to turn out and one day I decided to try baking it in the oven instead. I haven't used it since.


edh's picture

My memories are a lot like yours, Browndog. Picture the Boston suburbs 30 years ago... It was Pepperidge Farm all the way, Thomas' for breakfast.

The only unusual note in our kitchen was due to the fact that our town and the neighboring one had a sizeable Armenian population. They saved us from ourselves. I remember lying in wait for my Mum to get home from Eastern Lamejun Bakers, with a bag of still warm pitas (which we all called Syrian Bread in those days; just an indication of our lack of awareness of the places these foods came from, and their politics...)

For three years, in middle school, I refused to eat anything for lunch other than Peanut Butter and Mum's homemade raspberry jam on pita bread. A little cross-cultural perhaps, but it worked for me!

Thanks for starting this thread, Sue; it's fascinating!


leemid's picture

I remember going to the day old bakery store when I was a wee little lad, where my parents would get a dozen loaves of 'balloon' bread for a dollar. At some point, fairly early in that era, Mom decided there was no nutrition in that stuff and started baking bread. The first loaves were white but soon transitioned into WW which settled out at 40/60% WW/white. She tried to integrate soy flour into it for awhile but the whole family refused to eat it so she gave that up. From the time I was perhaps 8 or 10 I had pretty healthy bread, although now I know it was a little on the dry side. I think the dough couldn't have been hydrated higher than 50%, with molasses or honey and some oil added to it. Still, that was good bread. At school lunch I saw the Wonder the other kids had, and I'm sure I wanted it until we got some, and as kids will, smashed it into paper thinness and gummy balls. Then I was content with Mom's. When she got older than about 75, Dad took over the bread baking. Yesterday as I sliced some of my sourdough rye I wondered if Dad would have liked it.

That's my story,


weavershouse's picture

When we were young we ate Sunbeam white bread or Jewish Rye that was excellent (the rye, I mean). We lived in a neighborhood where the grocery store was right across the street. I mean a quiet residential street with Walter's Groceries right there among the houses. Down the street was a candy store run by an ancient old couple (We thought they were ancient, they were probably the age I am now). Walter was the local butcher and he carried the usual groceries including Jewish rye that was delivered hot to the store. 
We lived next door to my grandmother, Great Aunt Maggie (who was always making a new "waist" (blouce), and Great Aunt Rose who was blind but ruled the family. Aunt Rose  doted on us but mostly told poor sweet Nanny, our grandmother, what to do. "Make the children something to eat." So Nanny made us either Lipton Noodle Soup that we set on the floor by the back door to cool as we leaned against 50lb sacks of potatoes or make us our favorite noon meal. Nanny made us each a cup of coffee (we were 4 and 5 years old) with a little canned milk, no sugar (not healthy!) and she would butter Saltine crackers and put them together like sandwiches. We would sit in our little rocking chairs next to Aunt Rose in her rocking chair and dip our crackers in coffee and be very happy. 

When we moved to the other side of town every Saturday Walter would send a delivery of groceries including his homemade praski and that Jewish Rye with its paper would still be barely warm. Good times.                                 weavershouse

Susan's picture

In Raleigh, NC, we six kids ate Wonderbread during the week, but on Saturdays my dad would stop by a downtown deli and bring home wonderful Jewish rye and pumpernickle, along with cold cuts, cheeses and fragrant mustard. My dad, though technically a Baptist, grew up in a predominantly Jewish neighborhood in Norfolk, VA, so was exposed to good breads as a child and young man. My fav was the caraway rye. And I still remember poking little bits of it as far back in my mouth as I could, after getting my braces tightened, tear tracks still on my face from the pain. Dad would have LOVED my sourdough. Thanks, Sue, for making me call up these memories, even the painful ones.

Susan from San Diego

colinwhipple's picture

I don't remember what kind of bread we ate, but I do remember that there was a bakery on the way I used to walk to go to Jr. High School, and they had an outflow air vent right over the sidewalk.  I liked to stand under that vent for a couple minutes, especially in winter, breathing in the warm bread smell.



breadnerd's picture

What a cool thread!

Nothing too exicting in my tale, I was another suburban-raised cheap white bread kid. Wonder was too name brand, we were definitely in the 5/1.00 crowd. My dad was raised with german meat/potato folks, and wasn't very adventurous, so my mom didn't get to experiment very much--and I grew up pretty picky about food too. As the last of quite a few kids, there wasn't much resolve left to make me eat new things, ha ha. Family meal memories are fall-apart pot roasts, and pizza night (the dough made out of those frozen bread doughs you could get at the grocery) with fake coke that we only drank on special occasions. My mom did bake, though, we'd made homemade pretzels and chocolate wacky-cake from the Hershey's chocolage cook book.

In college, I was pretty inept at feeding myself, lots of cereal and PBJs. There was a bakery on campus that would sell a cheap half-baguette I would eat for lunch. Super tough and chewy, not what I would expect for french bread now but I liked it a lot. I'd eat it plain or maybe with cheese if I was feeling extravagant. I remember recognizing at the grocery store that some breads had a crunchier crust than others, and that all the other loaves looked exactly the same, just different shapes!

Thank goodness I was exposed to some adventurous eaters post-college, and out of embarrassment more than anything I'd try new foods! Now I'll eat just about anything, which messes with my mom's memories ("You don't like eggplant!")

colinwhipple's picture

My wife grew up eating french bread, and she expects and wants the crust to be tough and chewy.  She prefers me to make baguettes, not boules, because they have more crust.



earthygirl's picture

well now I am dating myself.  Like David I grew up on the typical jewish fare. rye, pumpernickle, challah, motzah and  kaiser rolls.  In addition my parents are French so we also had croissant, brioche, and the standard baguette.  also bagels(with lox and cream cheese...thin slice of onion and fresh tomato...mmmmm) One of my favorites was the bialys!

We also had an aunt that made sour black bread.  she was from Estonia.  I have finally wrenched the recipe from my uncle and am going to attempt duplication soon.

leemid's picture

in seeing the results of that attempt, and the recipe...


Oldcampcook's picture

I grew up on a small tobacco farm in southern Maryland. We did not eat much "white" bread, but rather cornbread (ground our own corn), biscuits and pancakes.  Loved my Dad's fried cornmeal mush. But I can remember the occasional home made loaf coming out and being able to cut off a heel and slather it with home made butter and having the butter drip down my arms.  Man, oh, man!

During high school, we moved up to Washington, D.C.  Lived in an area of tenement houses.  Down the street was a little grocery story run by a Jewish family.  He made the best deli sandwiches on Kaiser rolls that you could imagine.  I am still trying to recreate the rolls (think they were commerical). 

My brother and I were talking about those rolls the other day and I thought he was going to cry!!!!!

When I was stationed in the Air Force in Germany and France for many years, I learned to love the European breads.

I think that time of service and, after finding TFL, is the reason I got into baking.  Trying to bring back time long ago.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

and lots of it but half the commissary bought bread was wonder bread. We would toast it, butter it and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar or just sugar. I remember in the second grade, playing next door and getting my first mayonaise/white folded sandwich for lunch. Folded! Seemed like two new concepts, my brother on the other hand would take 4 slices at a time and bite off chunks.

Mom would bake dinner rolls and biscuts. She was always mixing or buying frozen dough. Sometimes it came 3 white to 2 whole wheat to thaw out in loaf pans to bake. She could also follow recipes and tried to give us more whole grains. We dragged off sandwhiches to school. They would be wonder or roman made and frozen and stacked up in the freezer to grab quickly in the mornings. Nothing fancy but they would be fresh cool for lunch.  When our parents went out we had TV dinners or several cans of spaghetti or ravioli.  Cambells soup, Chicken noodle was a favorite, and Alphabet soup.  Green pea and mushroom too.  When we were in grade school we would have to share a can of pop between us.  We drank mostly milk and tap water. Juice was for breakfast or if you were sick in bed.  We would have cookies and milk or chocolate milk before going to bed: Chips-a-Hoy and Oreos, Oatmeal and peanut butter cookies.  The best part about Church picnics were all the bottles of soda pop kept cold under ice blocks and water.  

Mom used to make cinnamon rolls and bake raisin bread and I loved to be her helper. The smell always filled the house on holidays and when there were guests. We also had lots of french toast for breakfast and as teenagers grilled cheese toast was "right on." On Sundays, it was quick breakfast, aluminum pan cinnamon rolls with frosting quick warmed in the oven and washed down with orange juice before heading off to church.

Mini O

Rosalie's picture

I remember some kind of spongy white bread - quite possibly Wonder Bread.

But I also remember the breads my father would bring home from Sam's, a coffee shop and deli around the block from where he worked in Schenectady, NY.  There would be this wonderful crusty rye, with caraway seeds, a corn meal bottom, and an egg wash, not to mention diagonal slashes.  I would later call this "real rye bread" and search longingly for it when I moved to California in the 1970s.  I also remember the challah (so what if we were Italian?).  My siblings and I would just tear chunks off from it and toast them in the toaster oven.

There were kaiser rolls, possibly from Sam's too.  We lived 150 miles north of NYC, but we got some their best bread traditions.

I learned the basics of breadmaking from my mother, but I only remember the cinnamon rolls she baked every Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.  Interestingly, I've never made these myself.  And I've had decades of opportunities.


browndog's picture

late at night. You all are going to make me cry.

Woz, I'd give an eye tooth for  some of the absolute best Marmalade bar none.

wholegrainOH's picture

what a terrific question!  allows us all to revisit the past, remember what we were given to eat, what that might have meant, and to explore our own development as bread bakers/eaters--

As for me, mostly white Wonder Bread some fifty years ago in the northern suburbs of Boston.  But then there was Annadamma bread.  A whole wheat/corn meal mixture that was full bodied and terrific.  I was able to find the recipe a year or so ago, and make it.  The taste, smell, aroma, all instant evocations of my youth.  Priceless, to paraphrase the ads! 


Paddyscake's picture

Hmm..first to mind, Mrs. Grossinger's Jewish rye, I believe from the Catskills in New York, Thomas' English Muffins and Pepperidge Farm..I re'mem'bah    :  )

I do remember Wonder bread, "helps builds strong bodies 5 different ways", but mostly for their ads. The white plastic bag with the red, blue and yellow balloons" also stands out in my memory. strategy aimed at kids in the 50-60's?

mattie405's picture

You brought back more memories, I used to love to go to a friends house and get a slice of that Wonderbread in the waxed paper wrapper with those ballons on it.........but I seem to remember that it built strong bodies 12 ways...........yup, hubby just started singing the old jingle to the advertising and it was 12 ways, although I think in my case it only went one way and that was width wise! Now do you remember Bosco chocolate syrup, Wise potato chips in the waxed paper bags, Ovaltine, egg creams and such? Lots of memories brought up with this thread.

Paddyscake's picture

12 ways..OK..I have a terrible memory for numbers!! I had forgot about Sunbeam bread. The Wonderbread and Wise (they were the best chips!!) didn't come in wax paper bags though. Wonderbread was in plastic and Wise was in the same bags we have now. How about Stateline potato chips..that was also another favorite of mine. Oh and fluffernutters ? (I promise this is the last time I'll bring them up, but they are sooooo good!)

mattie405's picture

Could be my age is showing with the wax paper bags for the Wise chips (and the Wonder bread), this was back in the mid to late 1950's, the bags of chips were about 4 inches wide and 12 inches long and cost all of 10 cents! And to this day no other chip has ever tasted as good to me. I also loved the chips that came from the Schaller & Weber shop on Second Avenue and 86th street, but they cost more so were a rare treat, they also had hearty rye breads that were great. Such great memories! I never heard of Stateline chips, Wise was the only brand in our neighborhood, until Frito Lay appeared. I also remember Grossingers and Levys Jewish rye, both were decent for packaged breads but we usually got rye from one of the bakeries that were dominant in our neighborhood, they all had little paper labels on them and sis and I would fight to not get stuck with the slice that had the label on it cause you couldn't get that label off without losing some of that great crust.

Larry Clark's picture
Larry Clark


You have a better memory than I. I can only remember Wonder Bread building stong bodies 8 ways and was surprised when they upped it to 12. We never had Wonder Bread in our house. It was alway Kilpatrick's, which is the same thing.

mattie405's picture

I was watching the Food Network earlier tonight and they had one of the shows on the topic of bread and it's history. Wonder was one of the items they featured and sure enough, you could see on the packaging that it "builds strong bodies 12 ways" and one of the other breads they featured was the Sullivan St No Knead. That old advertisemnt on your reply is the waxed paper wrapper that I remember it coming in...........way back in the stone age that is!

KipperCat's picture

The normal bread in our house was white, probably Sunbeam or another regional brand. They were similar to Wonder but not quite so insubstantial. My brother often made baking powder biscuits for supper, and Grandma occasionally made homemade white bread. Oddly enough I remember often making pancakes for school day breakfastso in the 4th or 5th grade. I made the pancakes, but don't know who cleaned up the mess splattered in the pantry where the mixer was kept!

By junior high and high school, rye bread sometimes appeared, both the little cocktail rye and the nice wide darker loaves. One of my favorite breakfasts was buttered rye toast with honey. We probably had the occasional "wheat" loaf or roman meal. I don't think any whole grain breads were available.

Breads were mainly bought at the grocery store, but sometimes hamburger buns, kaiser rolls, shortbreads, doughnuts or whatnot from the local bakery appeared. The first time my husband-to-be visited the family, he was amazed that along with the various coldcuts and cheese set out for a lunch there were a few different kinds of bread. We had a large enough family that it was easy to eat up a few different loaves quickly.

Holiday meals often had dinner rolls, which rarely appeared otherwise. In later years, the rolls in the oven were usually remembered only when we smelled them burning during dinner.

subfuscpersona's picture

> snitch an entire loaf of wonder bread from the kitchen

> hook up with friend and retreat to "the secret place" in the surrounding woods

> divvy up the wonder bread

> have contest to see who can squish the slices into the smallest dough ball (spitting on the bread is cheating and not allowed)

> eat wonder bread dough ball with grubby little hands 

Paddyscake's picture

but you made me think of another have to have Wonder Bread moment..sink sandwiches. Directions : pick fresh summer tomatoes, slice, place on Wonderbread that has been spread with mayo and stand over the sink to eat because it makes a huge drippy mess, ah..but it tastes so good!

Oldcampcook's picture

got me to thinking.  My mom used to make sandwiches the same exact way and we 4 kids took them out under the old Oak tree on an old quilt and had a 'picnic."  Nice memory you brought back

Paddyscake's picture

of a fond memory! kind of like getting a surprise gift!

RebelWithoutASauce's picture

These are great stories!

I grew up in the 90s (born in 85) right outside of Newark, NJ. Very urban.

We had a great local Italian bakery (Brother's Bakery) that my family has been going to since they moved out of Newark (where they first lived when they arrived here). My parents bought us the cheapest white bread available however,  occasionally buying these premium baugettes and other breads. Of course I ate a lot of Portugese rolls with my friends (who were nearly all from Portugal or South America).

My parents were busy people and my mother would often feed us canned tomato soup with white bread. I always prefered more wholesome foods as a child. She convinced me to eat it by cutting it up into 'soldiers' that I would solemly march into the soup and then eat. She would say "make sure he is drowned" before I ate them. Yes, my family is unusual.

My great grandmother would end up watching me most of my young childhood and she was from Scotland. She thought wonder bread (a brand my parents couldn't afford) was incredible and would make a sandwich for me thusly: toast up some wonder bread, spread margarine atop it, and put slices of velveeta 'cheese' between it. I remember this being delicious. Granny did have an odd palette. The dish she was most proud of was a " clootie dumplin' " which was some bizarre shortening-based Scottish cake that was made by pouring batter into a cloth bag and boiling it. Being born in 1910 in an impoverished part of Scotland she found things like home ovens, telephones, and processed food quite the novelty.

I live in New Hampshire now. I can't get Taylor ham, I can't get hard rolls to eat it on, and I haven't encountered anything deserving of the tile of bagel or pizza, so I guess I got into baking going from great bread to nada.

The one thing we didn't have in NJ was croissants. Oh we have them but I always hated them. In 1996 I was a student ambassador to 7 countries and I had the opportunity to visit Paris. Ate a croissont (I mean I was in Paris, I HAD to) and it was delightful. I ate about 14 more in the next three days. Got back to the US and thought I had acquired a taste for them. Bit into one and spit it out.

will slick's picture
will slick

I grew up in Canarsie Brooklyn in the 60's and 70's, on wonder bread and also bread from a local bakery. I was good friends with the three brothers who all worked in the shop as they grew. The bread box started out as a whole sale only operation that delivered the only product they made a torpedo shaped loaf of french bread in two sizes to every store in the area. This was the best bread around. If you did not have bread box bread you could forgetabot selling a hero no one would buy it. In the late 70's they moved to a bigger location and sold there bread retail as well as cookies they would get from another bakery that did not make bread. sadly the neighborhood changed and most of the old crew moved away and the bread box closed. My Mom would make a fried bread we called sfingi she would ether make here own dough or in a pinch send me to the pizza place for a piece of dough. She would stretch it out really thin and drop it in very hot oil then break and egg on it. mmtm so good. she would make some with out the egg and put powered sugar on them. My heritage is Maltese. maltese.