I volunteered to make some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the kids at an after-church lunch on Sunday*. I went to Trader Joe’s this afternoon to buy the makings and ended up buying some white bread for those kids who are exceptionally picky eaters. As I stood in line, I felt the need rise up inside me to explain to the checker and anyone else standing around me that the white bread wasn’t for me.
Because I don’t actually eat that stuff on a regular basis.
I’m making sandwiches for other people.
As I walked out to the parking lot, the loaf of organic white bread rising gently out of the top of my bag, I felt sort of dirty, as if I was leaving some illicit sexual encounter instead of a local grocery store.
So I’ve come to the blog, in the hopes that the admission of my food-snobbery will wash me clean of this white bread shame. At least until the next time.
*As an aside, if you’ve ever been curious about the First Unitarian Church in Philly, this weekend would be an awesome time to check us out. Our ministerial candidate, who will hopefully be the new minister at the church starting next fall (pending the congregational vote), will be leading the service and he is just awesome. His name is Nate Walker and he is young, gay and radiates a sense of caring and love unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before.
It’s so funny…I was RAISED on Wonder Bread. I don’t even know if that qualifies as “bread.” It was like eating a marshmallow. I didn’t know that bread came in an variation other than bright white until I was 14 or so. (Ah, the joys of Irish Catholic “cooking.”)
Ahhh … Wonder, the candy of bread. My guilty pleasure that I haven’t indulged in for many years.
I felt that same unwashed feeling when I used to buy Carnation Instant Breakfast for my ex-wife.
Sometimes I buy the organic white wheat (what does that even mean?) at whole foods and experience a similar dirty feeling. But honestly, sometimes it just tastes good, in the right context (as do properly heavy, dense and whole grain loaves).
Frank–The only times white bread was available to me during my childhood was when we’d come to Philadelphia to visit my grandparents. My grandfather always insisted that bread and butter be available on the table during dinner. My sister and I were totally fascinated by that combination (which NEVER appeared on our home dinner table) and would always beg for a slice or two.
Anthony–I remember begging my mom for Carnation Instant Breakfast during my middle school years. I just loved the idea of drinking chocolate milk for breakfast. I could convince her once in a while, but mostly it didn’t fly.
Lolie–I admit that there is something to be said for white bread in the proper context, but I don’t actually want to be the one who has to buy it. I prefer to be “forced” to eat it when nothing else is available (and then totally savor the experience).
Do Amorosa Steak rolls count as white bread?!
Can one get a steak sandwich on whole grain bread?
I was raised on white bread and margarine in the Fifties and Sixties and didn’t even like butter when I finally tasted it. Hard to believe, I know. I just love all things bread-y now, from mono-grain baguettes to multi-grain boules. In defense of white bread, I think it’s the best bread for being grilled in butter a la grilled-cheese sandwiches, etc.
Paul–sadly the hoagie rolls do count as white bread. However, I do eat those on occasion, although I celebrated when some of the Wawas started carrying whole grain rolls.
Tony–I do think you’re right about white bread being the best for grilled cheese, although I’ve never actually made a grilled cheese on white myself, since I don’t actually ever own the stuff. But man, when I was in college, I would devour those.
The easiest way to grease up your white bread (or any other bread)for grilled cheese sandwiches is to put a very thin coating of mayo on the bread — then scrape most of it off. You don’t have to wait for the butter to soften or fight with hard lumps — it gives the nicest, evenly browned crunch on the outside.