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How many times have you been told not to eat something just because people think it is not healthy?
Do you remember that feeling of disgust just because someone does not know enough about your favorite food and discourages you? For me that magical food is BREAD!
As Indians bread is really not a very important part of our diet in fact it is not even a very popular snack. Well, maybe I am not Indian enough or maybe I am addicted to the springy, spongy, salty stuff.
I LOVE BREAD!! There I said it out loud. I feel great about it. How often do we Indians eat bread? Has it really replaced the staple roti/paratha in our county?
For as long as I can remember bread has been very welcome in my house. When I was a kid I remember my mom making bread pakoras, and bread rolls stuffed with yummy potatoes and the simple yet scrumptious ‘egg on toast’; tiny bite sized pieces of heaven.
I think of bread and I think of endless possibilities, unending combinations and unlimited variety. Well, I have a taste for the salty so bread is my main course and dessert as well as the appetizer when the fancy strikes.
My most cherished memory of freshly baked bread is from the time we were living in Chandigarh. The incessant ring of the bicycle in the early evening would signal the arrival of the bread guy. I don’t remember the guy but I remember his bicycle with a steel box like contraption on the back of the cycle from which he would take out a full loaf of bread and then on demand would effortlessly proceed to slice it. Mind you, he sliced it only if you requested or else the loaf was yours to break or cut with the insufficient talent and finesse of a butcher.
Yes, we all preferred him to slice our bread. The bread was so soft and creamy and would just melt in my mouth. Sometimes when my mom was a bit preoccupied I would eat a slice as I carried it to the kitchen. Ah! What bliss.
That freshness of taste, soft texture and earthy smell all made for an unforgettable experience.
Thanks to the supermarket invasion our country has seen the variety of bread available and the various brands available make choosing one favorite extremely difficult. The true lovers of bread are today increasingly turning to baking their own bread but still a few lazy ones like me continue to postpone that bread baking session a few days at a time. The choice these modern bakeries offer ensures that even the most health conscious consumer gets their choice.
And I am not even discussing the croissants, buns and savoury pastries on offer.
These days when I go to my favorite bakery- thanks to the commercialization I now have a different one in all my favorite cities and just roam around the aisles for some time inhaling the ambiance. My choice of bread doesn’t matter as I know that no matter which ever I pick it will be heavenly.
Not only do I know that the bread I eat is healthy and tasty but also that it is not going to kill me! Now I am not exaggerating but this is what I heard from family and strangers alike when I spoke of my love for bread:
“It is full of maida/flour and it going to ruin your digestion etc, etc.”
“If you quit eating bread you will drop all your excess weight- instantly.”
“Bread is not fully cooked and as it has bacteria (read yeast) it will give you germs!”
Finally after learning how to make bread – thanks to my very stylish, modern, career woman yet earthy friend, ‘G’ all I can say is I feel validated. My faith in Bread was justified.
All those bakeries, yet I wait for my friend to get back and bake me some cheese and olive mini-buns brushed with herbs – truly a delight! I want to shout of my love of bread from roof tops! I want to make people eat the bread with all the amazing combinations it offers. This medium is a good replacement!
Yes, I choose a healthier type of bread and exercise portion control (most of the time) but the essence of bread is the same as it was all those years ago.
It is my comfort food, my favorite accompaniment to my favorite foods, my midnight snack and my all time food. Come, let’s break some bread together and tell me about your favorite food…..
Picture by Moyan Brenn on Flickr (Used under a CC license)