July 21, 2010

Bread from the Grocery: How to Tell How Fresh a Loaf of Bread is Before You Buy It

Pre-sliced breadImage via Wikipedia
Buying a loaf of bread at the grocery shouldn't have to include a prayer that the loaf isn't already a week old and ready to start gathering mold the minute you get it home.

That's where those little plastic twistee ties or U-shaped tabs come into play. They are color-coded to help the stores know how old the bread is on their shelves. Know the code, and you know how old the bread is, too.

Yesterday, I picked up a loaf of 12 grain bread at WalMart - out of convenience.  I prefer to buy a specialty bread at another store, but you know how that goes.  Pepperidge Farm.  It looked pretty good, and past the squeeze test.

Came home, and looked up the color coding for the bread ties.  I found this at Snopes.Com

Monday = Blue
Tuesday = Green
Wednesday = Red
Thursday = White
Friday = Yellow

I found this same information duplicated at several sites, so it should be the industry standard, right?  Wrong.

I checked my bread loaf, and the twist tab was TAN.  That's right, Dear Reader.  A color that is not on the code list.  Tan.  Was it made on a Saturday? 

So, I surfed more and learned that those tricky manufacturing companies (no, I can't call them bakeries, I just can't) have caught on that we are learning the coding system, so each bread company has adopted its own color code. 

Who knows what the tan code means?  I better hurry and finish this loaf. 
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