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Bread has fed us for years. In principle, his figure was more humble than we know today. We went from corn flour and comal, to wheat and a wood oven with the Spanish conquest. Bread has always been there, as a reliable source of our basic diet. But in the last century things have changed, the good loaf with the aroma of smoke and a firm crust, was replaced by a soft attempt, which industrialized our tradition and good habit of eating bread.
In Mexico we stopped eating good bread a long time ago. You had to travel to a town near the big cities to find a loaf that was worthwhile. However, in recent years, artisan bakery projects have emerged and multiplied that respect tradition, take care of technique and experiment with ingredients.
Restaurants are beginning to bet on serving sourdough breads or made with higher quality products at their tables. And in the same way, we find that diners from all over the world consume and value projects concerned with making better bread, warm, crunchy, with a delicious crumb and full of flavor.
"In my opinion, bread has been re-evolving for about 15 to 20 years in a very strong way." Mentions Rebeca Marquez, cook and fermentist owner of Element 4, located in Xalapa Veracruz, a culinary experimental laboratory where she makes bread with sourdough, preserves and probiotic food.
“In the last 70 years, bread was industrialized and filled with additives, it became standardized in white and lost its identity, but it never gave up. Perhaps silently and in small steps but there he was, raising his voice again little by little. In the last year and a half, the pandemic brought us many things, among them, a new awareness towards the consumption of products with better quality and that contribute greater well-being to health. Just hearing the word bread transports us to something natural, to our home, and if we close our eyes we can even smell it. Definitely, bread awakens our senses and changes our palate ”. says Rebeca
Making good bread takes time. From selecting the best ingredients so that they provide flavor, texture and color to the time of rest and fermentation that will fill our body with a universe of healthy living beings when we consume it. Those who know say that bread acquires the personality of each place and the hand of the person who makes it. And if this is true, the bread in Veracruz should taste (and to taste and personal experience it tastes) warmth, hubbub and magic. Whether you are in Papantla, Xico or Tlacotalpan, eating bread is a joy.
Whether for fashion, health or taste, today we are in the presence of the re-evolution of bread. Favorite food at breakfast, a good companion at lunch or a nostalgic companion at dinner, good bread is back!
For care: Keep it wrapped in a cloth preferably made of linen or cotton, so that it can breathe, remember that it is alive. If you're freezing it, slice it up and store it in a paper bag, not a plastic one. To consume after frozen, take out the slices that you will consume and heat them on a comal. Ready!
For the pairing: It depends on the taste and mood, but Serrano ham and mature cheeses never fail, although in the morning with coffee or chocolate or atole is fantastic. In the snack filled with egg and beans and at night with cream or butter.
Chronicle by Eddie Zaletas, photographer, audiovisual creator and gastronomic journalist, Eddie is a storyteller full of emotions and feelings. He has collaborated with magazines such as Food & Wine en Español, Fixer for Travel + Leasure and NETFLIX. Follow him on: Instagram / @chancladeperro Read more at: www.chancladeperro.com Photo by: @chancladeperro