I had a very rare treat the other day – I joined some friends at one of those top, top, high-end Michelin-starred independent restaurants for a quite amazing meal.
I don’t want you to think this is the kind of lifestyle I usually lead – it’s only the second time in my life I’ve eaten in such a place – but you know the kind of thing. Lots of little courses of the most exquisite explosions of flavour from ingredients most of which you have never heard of, and if you have, you would never think to put them together in the same dish.
Anyway, along with some wonderful wines (I was travelling by train, BTW!) it was a memorable lunch with scintillating company and food from another stratosphere.
Each course was enthusiastically introduced to us by our passionate and knowledgeable server, who listed the ingredients and explained the cooking technique and thinking behind the dish.
Interestingly though, the bread was not accorded the same introduction. It was gorgeous bread – a deep and rich sourdough with a beautiful crust, baked daily on the premises. But it was simply placed on the table, not quite as an afterthought, but even so almost as accompaniment that did not really matter. It was only when I, with my #respectthebread campaign hat on, asked for a description that one was forthcoming.
It seemed such a shame, something that sadly seems to happen at many a restaurant and function. The bread, even if it’s lovely bread, is relegated to a side accompaniment and second-class citizenship.
So, my fellow bread lovers, let’s do our bit to elevate the status of bread at the table. Be discerning and demanding of your bread, whether at a restaurant or in your lunchtime sandwich. Ask about its #provenance, suggest that it is properly listed and credited on the menu and given the status that it deserves alongside the dishes of distinction that it accompanies.
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