Don't Call It a Comeback


To drink wine, eat a baguette with cheese and olive oil every day is the dream. An afternoon sitting on a porch, the park, the beach a rooftop – bread, cheese, olive oil and wine are simple beautiful pleasures that have no economic barrier to entry.

One of these ethereal elements has been the cause of outrageous health issues and shunned a bit in recent times. Bread. Even bread from ‘organic’ grains have challenges as bastardized seeds in our farming culture have all but made the dreamy afternoon above. . .well. . .dangerous.

No need to rehash society’s ills related to our food supply here. We need to get back to our wine, cheese, oil and bread made from heirloom gains.

There is a subtle rise of artisanal bakers & chefs researching and bringing back into food-culture heirloom grains to make real breads.

A handful of culinary renegades are brining back grains that were abundant in America in the 1800s. However after the advent of the roller mill many of these grains fell from favor. Roller mills remove the germ and bran from the grain to make white flour. The problem with removing these is that germ and bran have delicious flavors and more importantly germ houses nutrients, fatty acids and antioxidants not found in today’s bread – organic or not.

Here is a short list of bakers & chefs across the country bringing back heirloom grains and making delicious, authentic and historically awesome breads:

Farm & Sparrow Bakery, Asheville NC. Baker & Owner David Bauer is grinding his heirloom grains with a stone mill to preserve both bran and germ.

All Souls Pizza, Asheville NC (also owned by Mr. Bauer & a local chef)

Tabor Bread, Portland OR. Their using an ancient grain called Red Fife that came from Ukraine to Canada via Scottish immigrants in the mid-1800s.

The Mill, San Francisco CA. Baker Josey Baker (!) obsesses over Einkorn which is the oldest wheat cultivar; farmers were likely growing it 10,000 years ago! The kicker, it’s higher in protein and naturally carries less gluten than todays’ wheat.

Explore any of these nutty, hearty herbaceous, toothy and beautiful breads with either (or both!) of the following:

2012 Unum Spring Mountain District, King of the Hill Napa Blend, $50

2012 Cambria Julia’s Vineyard Pinot Noir, $25