Bread Wars | i'mjussayin

Bread Wars

bread wars showdown at high noon |

Bread war is my story of how being right can also mean being wrong. I stopped at Lidl because it was the biggest store I was likely to pass en route home. As usual, I intended to buy just two items. And we all know how that ended. But I digress. My objection to Lidl is the same as most stores which have taken to selling bread outside of wrapping. It looks nice but it ain’t hygienic. So do you call out the person who is using their hands?

There are those in society who, despite the facility of tongs, use their hands. Worse, they use their hands while stretching over the bread at the front. Worse still, they use their hands while extending over the bread in the front and their outdoor clothes touch the produce. Oh, it can get worse. Men touch the bread at the front then stretch to the back, and all I can see is unwashed hands after using the toilet. Arghhhhh! So, the conundrum is call out and correct the behaviour or say nought? After all, the rate of hate crime has increased. And men (by the way they are not alone in the dirty practice) emboldened by Trump’s preaching are darn right rude to women.

bread wars baguettes drawn |


Bread Wars

So I was watching a man stretch over the front loaves, using his hands to select his loaf.  And in the process, his jacket sleeve brushes over the other loaves. Face, vex. I had to call him out politely.

The response, as expected ‘Stupid cow’ and ‘What has it got to do with you’. Well, let me think, I too am a customer and might just want to buy a loaf, roll, whatever. Other shoppers are witnessing our exchange of course. And they are looking at me as if I am crazy. People!Hands carry the most bacteria. Unless you have washed your hands at the bread counter, they are filthy.

Mister (I may have used the toilet but hell I will touch the loaves with my hands, and coat sleeves) moves on. And, yep I become the spectacle. But I notice nobody is buying from that bread bin.

bread wars two gunslinger face off |


Anyway, who should drop a packet of cakes in front of me? Mister. You will be pleased to know the cakes (Mr Kipling’s or a copy of) are in a box. At this point, the superior person (that would be me) comments about bread and tongs. Mister gets mad and says the usual insulting things, ‘Stupid cow’ and other terms. Well, we know that certain types of white men are choice in their words. And I know he’s winding up to the big finish. So, hell I beat him to it. ‘You forgot to say fat and black’ And Mister looks at me earnestly and says, ‘Why would I say that’.

So, Mister was wrong in what he did. Perhaps he was embarrassed at being called out even if politely. But he was no swine. So although I was right, I was also wrong.

PS. Shops need to stop the unwrapped bread thing.

Oh life!

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  • Hi Roz,
    My way of dealing with this modern conundrum;
    If it’s not coming fresh out of the oven then leave the produce on the shelf.
    Thx for sharing that was a funny piece.

    • Hey Nippy,

      I have overcome the problem by purchasing wrapped bread. If I want the fresh stuff, I bake my own. But it’s been awhile.

  • I agree with everything you say about buying bread.

    Buying bread from a supermarket is tempting fate. You might get infected with everything going. There are more reasons not to do so.

    Even if you can get organic and whole meal loaves these are almost always made from wheat that has been ground up long ago, usually with enough heat in the rollers to destroy the germ. Grains of wheat found in a casket with a mummy in Egypt were sprouted, despite being some 2000 years old. So the germ survived.

    As soon as you grind a grain it starts to oxidise and deteriorate nutritionally. Mc Carrison (Robert Mc Carrison, subsequently Professor at Oxford) did extensive ground- breaking research in the 1920s on malnutrition and the diets on the Indian subcontinent. He discovered that eating any single kind of grain leads to malnutrition. Fortunately this can be largely remedied by including, e.g., a variety of grains.

    But back to the thread. What is the alternative to buying bread in the supermarket? I have nothing against LIDL. In fact I am a very good customer of theirs and shop there almost every day. But not for bread.

    The way to ‘do’ bread, in my opinion, is to save both time and money and get the nutritional benefits of eating wholesome, good bread by making your own. If you are pressed for time just make chapatti out of a variety of grains, mixed. The thing to do is not to buy flour, but follow the following steps:

    1) Purchase a slow grinder. The cheapest and best are hand grinders. I bought mine in the early 1970s in Notting Hill. I am still on my first set of grinding plates. Decades ago I purchased enough spare grinding plates from the factory in Guajarati to last me for the next 500 years at my present rate of wear. The head of the factory was over the moon at the rate of exchange, and encouraged me to become his customer for the next 500 years.

    2) Buy a variety of whole grains from a good supplier. Most health food shops stock a variety. I buy in bulk (5K at a time) from the excellent Brixton Wholefoods (Atlantic Rd., Brixton). Store grains in airtight plastic bins. Decant into bottles for daily use.

    3) Grind only as much as you require for each meal or each day.

    4) You will need either an Asian tawa (Brick Lane) or a frying pan (preferably cast iron).
    Add cold water to the flour you have ground. Do this in a large bowl. Knead for a short period until reasonably stiff. You need not use anything else, no yeast, no salt, though you can add other ingredients if you wish. You only need to knead for a minute or so- this is not bread that will rise.
    Roll out into a floured surface or just shape by hand. Put the disks onto the tawa without any oil or fat and dry cook on medium heat until brown marks appear on the underside. Turn over. Shut off the heat and allow the other side to cook in the remaining heat.

    The whole process takes but a few minutes from start to finish. The methods I describe are used by the Hunza. You can research how long they live and their general health. Mc Carrison also observed that on the subcontinent not only the Hunza but also the Sikhs and Pathans- who ground their own atta flour (wholemeal grains with the germ in)- enjoyed superior health.

    White bread (or anything made from white (denatured) flour (germ removed-such as cakes, pastry, spaghetti)- is a nutritional disaster. The body absorbs this as ‘slow’ carbohydrates, and first changes them into sugar, then deposits fat around your waist, where it does all kinds of damage in the long term if allowed to stay there. (If you have a stomach fat problem read Dr. Berit Nordstrand’s book (The Scandinavian Belly Fat Programme)- recently translated from the Norwegian.

    If you can’t be bothered to ‘do it yourself’ why not just eat cardboard instead? It’s a lot cheaper than supermarket bread and just about as nutritious.

    • Hello Eric,

      Thank you for that informative insight into grinding grain and making chapatti. I am keeping the instructions for future use.

      I also prefer to make my own bread but now I am going to try chapatti. I have mum’s tawa so I’m set.

  • There is one glaring omission in my above comments. I should have emphasized that the grains you grind should always be organic- without fail. Otherwise you may fill your gut with pesticides (even if they are already full of them), thereby possibly killing the beneficial bacteria in there (on the assumption that there are any).

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