18 August 2005

For once in my life, I have someone who kneads me

....that's the new slogan for Stevie Wonder Bread.

This morning after dropping off Seraphim at her workplace, I stopped at Kroger on the way into mine to procure a few grocery-esque items (there is only one restaurant on the island, and it's rather pricey -- we normally brown-bag our lunches out here).

@#$%, out of Lay's Stax original. @#$%, out of Kroger brand solid white tuna in water. And @#$%, out of my favorite bread. Okay, I went without the potato chips (didn't get Pringle's - don't care too much for those). I went for my second favorite brand of tuna, Bumble Bee (Star Kist? Sorry Charlie, that stuff is nasty).

And bread? I went for a loaf of Sunbeam, which costs a few cents more than my favorite kind, Bunny. ("That's what ah said ... Bunny Bread!") Kroger was out of THAT, too. Okay, Stoney, you need to come out here and make some heads roll. Leave Hot Springs, Ark. and that bad life behind and have Kroger transfer you to beautiful, picturesque, and crime-ridden Savannah, Georgia!

The bread issue got a 'rise' out of me. As I continued to 'loaf' around in the bread aisle, I noticed the other options of bread at my disposal. Besides Bunny and Sunbeam, we have Merita, Captain John Derst, and of course the usual store brand suspects. In Kroger's case, there's Kroger brand, and a lower-tier name known as "FMV" (For Maximum Value) - FMV is the successor to the old "generic" products we used to see back in the early '80s.

But FMV bread products are always softer and feel fresher than Kroger brand. Hmmmm.

I got to thinking about Merita. Merita hasn't been marketed in my native Alabama in decades; in Georgia it's a major brand. COLONIAL bread is a big player in middle and south Alabama, in addition to much of Arkansas, parts of Missouri and even southwest Georgia (where Seraphim hails from). But Colonial isn't sold here.
That silence was the sound of me NOT complaining. Colonial is a rough, coarse bread, more suited for use as sandpaper or as an SOS pad-in-proxy. I like my bread soft. Colonial used to tout its bread as "the 8-hour loaf." Obviously. It stays out in the air for eight hours before they put the wrapper on it.

Close to Colonial on the soft <--> coarse scale is Captain John Derst. That's a Savannah-based baking concern, and it's a popular regional brand in these parts. What's curious about CJD is the bread itself has a distinct yellow color about it. You've seen the kind of buns Wendy's uses for its burgers .... CJD is very similar in look.

Sunbeam? Same little girl taking a bite out of a buttered slice. Bread out here isn't quite as good as that which is marketed in Alabama (under the Flowers Bakery name). But it's okay as a consolation prize.

However, moving out here five years ago, I was quite jolted to see the name BUNNY. For a minute I wondered if I'd taken a wrong turn and was at a grocery store in Cape Girardeau. Bunny Bread is mainly a product of the Midwest. What in tarnation is it doing in Savannah?? (see "not complaining" gag, above)

Other loaves I miss: "Dixie Darling" (store brand for the dying Winn-Dixie grocery chain), the various brands of Interstate Bakeries - "Millbrook" (Birmingham, et al) and "Hart's" (Memphis area) - which used the Peanuts characters for its old adverts.

And whatever happened to Wonder Bread? Is that still being sold? Or did they figure out that strong bodies were built only 2 ways - that the other 10 were downright fraudulent?


All this bandwidth over ... BREAD?

I need a sandwich. Ciao for niao.

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