March 12, 2019
Bread is one of humanity’s oldest food staples. We first learned to dry and grind grain between two stones to make a type of porridge. Then, we added some salt, and decided to try cooking it over our primitive fires.
Bread has come a long way since those days, but one Calgary bakery wants to take it back—at least part way—to its roots.
Bread The Way Bread Used To Be
Calgary Italian Bakery is a local company that's been baking for Calgarians since 1962. The bakery has created a new line of breads called Famiglia, which are made naturally, with no preservatives, no additives and no sugars.
“It’s pure, wholesome bread, that goes back to the days when it used to be made at home,” explains Calgary Italian Bakery’s David Bontorin, “You have your flour, your water, yeast, and salt. And that's it. There's no added fats, there are no added sugars. It’s as pure as bread can get.”
Calgary Italian Bakery’s Famiglia bread is available in a White Bread, Whole Wheat, Oat Bran and a multigrain offering called 14 Field, and each is available at Calgary-area Co-op stores. They’re sliced and ready for sandwiches, toast, or just to enjoy with a smear of fresh butter.
One of the key things to know about the Famiglia bread is that, because it doesn’t have additives and preservatives, it’s not going to last as long in your cupboard. But that’s okay, since it’s meant to be eaten within a few days.
Eat Fresh Bread Daily
“That goes back to the way Europeans eat bread; they buy their bread fresh every day or two, and eat it when it’s still fresh,” says Bontorin, “They know it’s not going to last forever. In North America, we seem to prefer to buy our bread and leave it on the shelf at home for a couple weeks, thinking it should still be soft and fresh.”
Shoppers accustomed to traditional packaged sliced breads may find the concept of these fresh and natural sliced sandwich loaves appealing. Bontorin says you’ll notice a deeper flavour in the Famiglia breads, and more of a taste of the natural, local grains the bakery uses in their recipe.
Taste the Delicious Local Grains
“You can actually smell the grains in this bread. You can taste the grains in the bread. You get a bit of natural grainy sweetness with a soft crumb and lovely texture. So it tastes great, but it’s also low in sodium, it’s got healthy fibre, it’s vegan friendly, and nut free. It checks a lot of boxes for customers who are concerned about what they’re eating,” adds Bontorin, who also notes locally sourced ingredients are used in all the bakery's products.
Bontorin says the team at Calgary Italian Bakery was inspired to create the new breads by the company’s founders; David’s parents, Luigi and Myrl Bontorin (now featured on the bread’s wrapper. Current owners Louis and David Bontorin wanted to celebrate their parents who started the bakery during simpler times, when bread was baked with ingredients you could pronounce.
Since then, there’s been a resurgence in interest in more pure and natural foods, with many shoppers reading ingredients more carefully, and demanding better quality, and more natural, healthy options.
Find Calgary Italian Bakery’s Famiglia breads in the bakery department at your local Calgary Co-op store.
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