Sunday, February 27, 2005

Wonder Bread

When I was a kid I LOVED Wonder Bread. I liked that you could roll it into little balls; you could smash it flat and toast it against a light bulb; you could plaster it up against the roof of your mouth and when you peeled it off you could see the ridges.

I liked the way my high school cafeteria sandwich - Wonder Bread, peanut butter and Kraft Concord Grape Jelly - was purple with seepage every day at lunch after having been wrapped in Saran Wrap the previous day and marinated overnight.

I bought Wonder Bread for my kids once but they didn't like it; I have to admit the "dough conditioner" taste now poisons my enjoyment too.

Even though Wonder Bread is not very Jewish, there is a recipe for Wonder Blintzes on the official website.

BadAunt at present simple wondered why, after two weeks, her Japanese supermarket bread "was still soft, spongy, and white. There was no mould, it hadn't gone stale, and it looked and felt as fresh as the day I'd bought it." I have found her this article from the Tampa Tribune:

Old Bread Idea Hard To Swallow
By Michael Sasso Sep 25, 2004

... Interstate Bakeries Corp., the nation's largest bread baker, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection ... [its] attempts to keep its Wonder and Merita brands on store shelves for seven days may have hurt quality and be at least partly at fault for its financial woes.

... its extended shelf-life, or ESL, program is partly to blame. In recent years, Interstate Bakeries has been adding a special enzyme to its cakes and breads that help them retain moisture and stay soft. Traditionally, bakers have kept bread on grocery shelves for three days before pulling it and taking it to discount bread stores. With its ESL program, Interstate Bakeries found it could keep bread fresh for up to seven days before removing it from store shelves. That would reduce waste and save money.

However, Pinheiro said the company had to change its bread's formula to make it stay soft for seven days, which hurt quality. Interstate Bakeries' bread at times has felt "gummy" or "doughy," he said.

"The consumer perceives freshness as being soft, so that's why we went ahead and adopted it," Wimberly said.

Sternberg, the Interstate Bakeries spokeswoman, said the company believes its bread's quality has not been hurt by its ESL program, and it maintains that its bread stays soft and fresh for seven days.

For more on "food science:" Making your dinner tasty."

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At 4:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there. I saw on Michele's blog that you have the book "Shalom, Y'All." I *love* that book.

At 4:57 PM, Blogger Sigmund, Carl and Alfred said...

Wonder blintzes and a 7 day shelf life.


At 5:11 PM, Blogger Bernadette said...

How can one make French Toast (Pain Perdu) with bread that refuses to grow a little stale?!

At 6:09 PM, Blogger Sharon said...

The supermarket here (Britain) had long-life bread on the shelves a few years back. I tried it once (I didn't have a freezer at the time), and it tasted very odd. Strangely sweet. I wonder if it was the same thing?

At 8:49 PM, Blogger Prochein Amy said...

I love the bread sticking to the top of your mouth. When we lived in Germany, we did not get fresh bread. We returned to the states when I was in the 5th grade and fresh bread was so great!!!

Here in Texas, we have Mrs. Baird's. I think they have changed their recipe also. They leave their bread on the shelf longer and it just does not take the same. This happened after another company bought them out.

At 9:08 PM, Blogger Natsthename said...

I remember the promos on Captain Kangaroo! "Helps build strong bodies 12 ways!"

At 9:32 PM, Blogger Bubblehead said...

Whenever we went to the "city" my parents would go by the Wonder Bread outlet and we would buy dozens of loaves, also a bunch of twinkies and ding-dongs. I know there is better bread out there, and I buy that stuff mostly, but there is a sense of nostalgia that only Wonder will create.

Came via Michele.

At 11:18 AM, Blogger Badaunt said...

Bread that 'stays fresh' seven days is not bread. Nor is it fresh. It's just pretending to be both.

Why would anybody want it to last seven days, anyway?


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