Sandwich Mechanics: A Tale of Failure, Redemption, and Safeway

Time marches on, you know, as does bread. Wait, what? That was too lofty and didn't make any sense. What I meant was: sorry, it's been a little while since I wrote one of these, but that doesn't mean I haven't been experimenting with bread all the while. Today we have a somewhat troubling tale of inconsistency and bad consistency, but just a touch of hope.

Most of my bread posts in the past have been about Oroweat breads. They have some good ones, but they're kind of pricey. I often try the store-brand alternatives for stuff if it's cheaper, and so I stumbled upon this Safeway brand Honey Wheat Berry bread. Weird that I can't find a good link for it.

I'm a sucker for certain key words in food. If you put "honey", "peppercorn", "plum", or a number of other random words in your food name, I'm completely at your mercy. And so I walked on out of there with that loaf of bread.

Even before I was out of the store, though, I thought to myself, "this bread feels a bit soft." Man, "soft" doesn't begin to describe it. Not only was it soft, it was straight up underbaked. Like, gooey center and all that. Except, I don't want a gooey center in my bread, thanks. Or else I'd eat a... I dunno, marshmallow? Something else.

It nearly fell apart every day in my sandwich. I had to be careful when spreading on it. I got little doughy pieces of bread on my fingers when handling it. I almost wonder if I got a fluke, a random bad loaf. Worst of all, the taste was nothing special. I tasted wheat, sure, but no honey or berry, really. Or is a "wheatberry" a thing? A disappointing thing, maybe? I was hoping for a slightly sweet bread, but it just wasn't there.

That's grim, Safeway. Real grim. You're skating on thin ice, buddy. Out of the goodness of my heart (they say this wheat bread stuff is good for the heart!), though, I decided to give them one more try. I picked out some Safeway Nut and Grain bread with similar branding. This time, I hefted the bread and kind of, er, palpated it a bit. Feelin' okay... let's do this!

Oh man, I'm really glad I gave this another try. Whereas the first bread was limp and stupid, this Nut and Grain stuff is diametrically opposite to it: sturdy, textured, and very tasty. This is by far the most heavily textured bread I have come upon so far, largely because each slice has multiple actual nuts in it. God, wow.

Seriously, barely a bite passes without a good piece of a nut in there, which you're left chewing on thoughtfully after you've dispensed with the rest of the mouthful. That interesting texture is a big deal for me, so I liked this a lot.. Best of all, the bread holds together very well. I might even be able to drop a tomato slice on one of these bad boys sometime.

Taste-wise, the grains of the bread aren't too crazy, but if you like nuts, then obviously you'll also like the overall taste, because it's, um, really nutty.

So, what have we learned here? Honey Wheat Berry bad. Nut and Grain good. Oh, and give 'em another try. Ugh, now that I've said that, does it mean I'll need to give Franz a second chance, too? Biiiih.