The Breads That Bind

In the early 1990's, when I was a child growing up in Mongolia, the country went into a deep recession for a few years and food rationing was put in effect. No matter your socioeconomic situation, the ration stamps allotted each household some flour, rice, sugar, a little meat and bread. I vividly remember going to the grocery store with my brother and standing in line to get our bread for the day. For many breakfasts and snacks, we ate slices of it with butter spread on top, sometimes sprinkling sugar over it to satisfy a sweet tooth. Despite the fact that things were not aplenty back then, eating good bread with my family is one of my fondest childhood memories.

My childhood home in Ulaanbaatar

My childhood home in Ulaanbaatar

Food has a lovely way of connecting us back to our past; to our culture and heritage; and to our community. This is why I love hearing some of the comments from people that come by our booth on Fridays. Some say our loaves remind them of the breads they ate as a child, ate on a memorable vacation, or ate back in their own homeland; and some come seeking out certain kinds that perhaps might connect them to yet another time and place. It is reaffirming to know that the work we are doing can strengthen these ties to the past in a world where good old-fashioned bread does not have the same status as it used to.

Anyway, now on to the near future. This Friday, I am thrilled to feature our Basil Pesto loaf at the market. With a light green speckled crumb and open cell structure, this bread tastes and smells as good as it looks - it was a clear winner among those who ate it during our recipe testing phase.

Crust & Crumbles is committed to clean labeling and we planted rows upon rows of sweet basil in our gardens this spring to produce house-made pesto just for this bread. However, late frosts delayed harvest and forced us to use (still pretty tasty!) commercial pesto sauce this time around. When the plants revive, I promise you'll see these breads at the market again - in the meantime, I hope you enjoy.