Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Bread- New Orleans-style

Alois J. Binder: the baker with the light.
I was looking for some crusty bread yesterday, something al dente that we could chew on.  I went to Rouse's supermarket on Carrollton Avenue, always a poor bread destination.  Rouse's bread selection consists of air pockets lightly surrounded by white dough.  It is like chewing a bland atmosphere, which is something New Orleans has very little of.

I considered going up to La Boulangerie on Magazine Street, which usually has few loaves to my liking.  There is construction on South Claiborne Avenue, making the trip even longer than I would normally want to do for nothing more than a loaf of bread.

I found myself in Faubourg Marigny and decided to stop into the bakery I pass on a fairly regular basis, Alois Binder's.  The place is still up and running, but like many older establishments in the Marigny, it could a spot of paint.  None of the trucks look as spiffy as the one in the illustration above.  Most of them look fit for the scrap heap, but they are still up and running too.  Binder supplies bread to many of the po' boy shops in New Orleans.

I stepped into the sales room.  It has a case with some pastries, and a few loaves of bread in a basket on the counter's door end.  It was only me.  I told the girl manning the shop that I wanted, "The crustiest bread you've got."

"I've got po' boy bread," she said.  I agreed, and she fetched me a four foot long loaf of french bread.  "This will be nice on the motorcycle," I commented, and she smiled.

So, with about two and a half feet of bread sticking out of my satchel, I went about my errands the rest of the afternoon.  It would hit me in the back of the head when I traversed particularly bumpy tracts of roadway.  Good think I was wearing my helmet.

So, the review:  This is a fine loaf of bread.  It is white bread and airy on the inside, but the crust is toothsome and hearty.  Ever mindful of fiber in my diet, I won't be making this a regular stop, but it does make a nice sandwich and it toasted up pleasantly this morning.  Of course, we still have about two and half feet of bread to eat, the same end that was hitting me in the head.

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