Friday, May 15, 2009


I bake. The bread in the US sucks so rather than complain about it I decided to make my own. It comes out pretty good and I've started tweaking it with all sorts of additional little things like garlic, rosemary, fried onions, sun dried tomatoes and lemon zest (the latter is really good).

Anyhow - so as to figure out what I was doing I read a book with lots of great recipes and decided to buy it. Having done so, I figured that it was really a bit to complicated and went back to a simple Jamie Oliver recipe which I've been using since.

I managed to find the yeast that all the bakers recommend at Trader Joes, ditto the flour and all was happy - my challot keep getting better.

So I sauntered into Trader Joe's the other day and there's no yeast on the shelf where it usually is. I found a friendly person in a Hawaiian shirt to help me out and he informed me that yeast is a "seasonal product" which confused me. I ask if he was aware of what yeast is used for and when it became clear that he wasn't a complete moron, asked him whether he ate bread in the summer.

I decided to check out the Trader Joe's near my home when I headed out in that direction the next day and was amazed to be told exactly the same thing. Yeast people, is seasonal at Trader Joe's! I was distressed by now as no-one else sells that brand. Fortunately I was up in Baltimore the next day and the store there had lots so I bought up enough to see me through.

Any thoughts on this one - do Americans stop eating bread at the end of the hockey season? What do they put there hot dogs in on July 4th? Did I miss something here?



rutimizrachi said...

Simple answer: of course Americans eat bread all year 'round. We learned it from the Europeans.

Deeper concern: How are you going to survive re-assimilating into Israeli culture if you remain brand-conscious? One of the things that stresses out olim is their inability to give up and find substitutes for specific products. You deal with that attitude all the time, as you try to smooth the way for pampered Americans.

Advice following gentle tochacha (both given with affection): Practice making your marvelous chalot with other brands of flour and yeast. You will probably find that, with a bit of tweaking, you don't need to rely on Trader Joe's to make great bread.

Barbara R. said...

I have an even simpler answer...bring Trader Joe's to Israel! Israelis think everything American is better...bring Trader Joe here.
But first teach someone that yeast is an all year commodity!