Samuel Muston: Give us our daily artisan bread

 

Last Saturday morning, I ate a bacon sandwich. Now, you might say, "So what? I had two yesterday." Which is all very well, but for me it's an unusual event. A carb-heavy breakfast usually has me lolling back to the land of Nod, but my friend Fifi was cooking the bacon and my hangover was about eight on the Richter scale, so I went with the flow.

With the pig sizzling in the pan, my only task was to sort the bread (to butter, not to butter, that sort of thing). So I grabbed the loaf, smeared some Jersey butter on it, arranged the bacon in pink parallel lines and took it through to the lounge to eat it in peace.

I walked in and it was as if I'd done so while wearing the pig's head as a fascinator. "You… having white bread? Well, I didn't think I'd ever see that," said my other friend Max, wearing a look of absolute triumph. "You always have sourdough," he continued. And he was right, too – I do.

Once, maybe twice, a week, I go on a little pilgrimage to the E5 Bakehouse in Hackney, London and pick up a large sourdough loaf. And so begins the weekly eat-all-the-bread-before-it-goes-hard game, which is a necessity given a loaf costs £3.50. What this has done is breed in me the habit – now seeming a little unfortunate – of haranguing people about the horrors of mass-produced sugary white sliced bread.

So there I was, bread-shamed and ready for the onslaught. "You see, this is what I've been saying – it isn't worth the money," Max said. "You are just a bread snob."

Now, this stung a bit. Because like all good teases, it contained some truth – for me and foodies in general.

For some, the loaf on your table is as much a social signifier as the watch on your wrist or the car in your drive. You go to some people's houses for dinner and they announce what's in their loaf as if it were composed of precious jewels. The rarer, the better, too: if you can source a Mongolian flatbread made from pumpernickel and sourdough rye, you are winning at bread bingo.

The thing is, though, while the more egregious examples of bread snobbery are obviously a little, well, daft, somewhere hidden deep in there is a grain of sense. Speak to any dietician and they will tell you that a mass-made, additive-packed loaf has all the nutritional value of a beer mat.

A sourdough loaf, in contrast, is like the bread that came down from heaven, to misquote St John ever so slightly. Lactic acid in the sourdough neutralises the phytates in the flour, which means the vitamins and minerals in the mix are more readily available for absorption. Plus, the acids slow down the rate at which the glucose is released – which means there are no nasty insulin spikes.

There is something else, though, too. Getting the bus to your local bakery and eschewing the Tesco is making a statement. What you're saying is: "I believe in this product and all that comes with it; I want to support a small-scale, local business that strives to produce a top-notch product using the best ingredients they can get – and I'm willing to put my hand in my pocket to get that."

So you may get the piss taken out of you when you are hungover and making your breakfast, but surely it is better to be a bread snob than to miss out on one of the rare things in the world that tastes better and actually is better for you at the same time.

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film Ridley Scott reveals truth behind casting decisions of Exodus
News
people
Sport
footballArsenal 2 Borussia Dortmund 0: And they can still top the group
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Arts and Entertainment
An unseen image of Kurt Cobain at home featured in the film 'Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck'
filmThe singers widow and former bandmates have approved project
News
Andy Murray with his girlfriend of nine years, Kim Sears who he has got engaged to
peopleWimbledon champion announces engagement to girlfriend Kim Sears
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden and Edwina Currie are joining the I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! camp
tv
Arts and Entertainment
George Mpanga has been shortlisted for the Critics’ Choice prize
music
News
Albert Camus (left) and Jean-Paul Sartre fell out in 1952 and did not speak again before Camus’s death
people
Arts and Entertainment
Roisin, James and Sanjay in the boardroom
tvReview: This week's failing project manager had to go
News
Ed Miliband visiting the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem. The Labour leader has spoken more openly of his heritage recently
newsAttacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But are the barbs more sinister?
Arts and Entertainment
'Felfie' (2014) by Alison Jackson
photographyNew exhibition shows how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
News
i100
Life and Style
Fright night: the board game dates back to at least 1890
life
Environment
The vaquita is being killed by fishermen trying to catch the totoaba fish, which is prized in China
environmentJust 97 of the 'world's cutest' sea mammals remain
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Investigo: Finance Manager - Global Leisure Business

    £55000 - £65000 per annum: Investigo: My client, a global leader in their fiel...

    Investigo: Senior Finance Analyst - Global Leisure Business

    £45000 - £52000 per annum + bonus+bens : Investigo: My client, a global leader...

    Investigo: Financial reporting Accountant

    £40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits : Investigo: One of the fastest growing g...

    Sphere Digital Recruitment: CRM Executive – Global Travel Brand – Luton – £25k

    25,000: Sphere Digital Recruitment: CRM Executive – Global Travel Brand – Luto...

    Day In a Page

    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
    Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

    Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

    The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
    Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

    Sarkozy returns

    The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
    Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

    Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

    Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
    Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

    Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

    Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
    There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

    In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

    The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
    UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

    UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

    It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
    Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

    Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

    It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
    The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

    Staying connected: The King's School

    The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
    Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

    Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

    Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
    Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

    Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

    The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
    Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

    When two worlds collide

    Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

    Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
    Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

    Putin’s far-right ambition

    Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
    Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

    Escape to Moominland

    What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?