Tuesday, April 27, 2010

My Favorite Place On Earth

The Bakery.

I just love them. All bakeries. Every single one.

I love the smells, the sounds, the energy. I love how each loaf of bread, each roll, each cake or cookie is like a little piece of artwork... art that someone slaves over, wakes up at 4 a.m. for, unconditionally devotes their life to... and which will only last for a day.

No one opens a bakery to become wealthy. It is a profitless artform. Good bakers believe in artisanal food and quality product. They know someone else is going to make it cheaper, faster, more white and spoungy and on-sale in the grocery isle, but they don't care because they believe in their craft and they know that if there is still a market for truly great bread, even if it is small and getting smaller, then they must continue to create.

I don't envy the small-scale baker. It must be a hard life slaving for pennies when even learned palettes choose mass produced crap with enriched flour, preservatives, and ingredients I can't pronounce, all mixed, kneaded, baked, packaged and boxed without any real human contact. If you've ever baked at home you know how intimate and how alive baking and bread can be. A true labor of love.

Sigh... Such an old-timey profession. I just hope we as consumers support our local bakers now before there just aren't any left... cause let's face it, there really isn't a more perfect food then a truly exceptional loaf of bread.

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