White Bread

You can’t escape it. It’s everywhere. It never rubs anyone the wrong way because it’s just so….soft. White bread is the staple (well, if we exclude the all-time favorite: rice) here in Hong Kong and the mainland. Loaves of it eaten each morning for breakfast as toast, many more sandwiches made at lunch (no crust, of course), and have a roll at dinner on the town and you can be sure it’s all white. Oh, and all those little “baos,” Chinese pasteries, with scrumptiously sweet insides? White bread too. But what happened to the distant wheat cousin or any darker relatives? If anyone can come with a definitive answer to that question, please write me, I’m dying to know. But let me at least make a conjecture: China has always been a white bread society because white bread is the most manufactured type of bread and hence lasts the longest before going stale. The taste is sweet (think the opposite of the organic sprouts bread you buy at Whole Foods) which brings us back to the days of Wonderbread commercials. Kids in HK and China grow up eating it and stick with eating it. There is no health movement here that focuses on eating right (instead numerous commercials touting microelectrocution methods of losing weight…). So, there is no need to have wheat bread when there is no demand and it costs more to produce it. And this makes me sad that I can’t find a good five grain or pumpernickel.

I’ll save my discussion of the use of mayonnaise (on anything including bread) for another day…


2 thoughts on “White Bread”

  1. Business opportunities for HK and China…. think Acme Bread for the high end people there.

  2. Yea, Delifrance is a joke. CitySuper (the highend carry-all supermarket) can’t even provide a crusty baguette. The closest restaurant is probably that German place underneath the Holiday Inn Golden Mile in Tsim Sha Tsui. There is one bagel place that I know of…

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