November 14, 2013

Toast, now pre-toasted

When I moved to Texas nearly 30 years ago, Mrs. Baird's bread was a new thing for me.  The bread aisle offered many different varieties of bread, most of them bearing the Mrs. Baird's brand name.  Six Flags used to have a little shack that handed out free mini-loaves of the yeasty white bread.  And, to this day, the Mrs. Baird's bakery south of downtown Fort Worth, situated next to the Coor's brewery, emits a wonderful aroma for the drivers on I-35W.  I wonder if they have a common yeast supplier.

A few years ago, the iconic Mrs. Baird's brand was sold to Grupo Bimbo, a Mexican bakery conglomerate that has been buying up American brands for the past decade.  Whether you noticed or not, brands like Entenmann's, Sara Lee, Oroweat and Thomas' are now under the Bimbo umbrella.

While Bimbo hasn't changed the brand name on Mrs. Baird's products, the shelf space in the bread aisle is now filled with new and different products that bear the Bimbo name.  I don't suppose the ownership took the time to research the English word "bimbo" before forging ahead.

This product caused Boom to go off on a mini-rant for several minutes the first time she spied it at Wal-Mart:

As Boom asked on that day, who can't make toast?  Why in the world would people buy days old, dried out, crunchy bread?  Is this some Mexican delicacy that we haven't heard of?

Many a time in my more youthful and under-furnished apartment days, we toasted bread directly on the rack of the oven, or on a cookie sheet using the broiler.  Even in the absence of the specialty kitchen appliance known as a toaster, there are ways to get the bread warm and golden brown.

Having spent time in parts of the world where toast is made in advance, and placed in little racks on the breakfast table, I can attest to the fact that 'warm' isn't a universally accepted state of how toast should be served.  But even then, the toast had been prepared in the very recent past, not toasted, packaged, and shipped around the country for enjoyment at a later date.

I suppose I shouldn't mock - I have relatives that can't understand why I buy salad mix in a bag and pre-shredded cheese.  Time-savings and lack of bloody knuckles are good enough reasons in my book, but my predilection for convenience foods still isn't providing me a justifiable reason to buy already toasted bread.


CenTexTim said...

What's the difference between pre-toasted toast and stale, room temperature bread?

Harper said...

Golden brown coloring on the toast, green tinge on the stale, potential penicillin host bread.