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9 breads for 9 palates

It’s our job to shed some light on baked bread, a universe characterized by countless names, picturesque crumbs, and crusts of various thicknesses and consistencies. It’s here that the #Characters rush to our aid.

Vinhood Editors
Vinhood Editors
pane

When we talk about bread, there are always tons of opinions.

“I only eat the crumb.”

“I could never give up bread, but I prefer it whole wheat.”

“I only eat bread with Nutella.”

Ribollita made with unsalted Tuscan bread: the perfect pair!”

Getting everyone to agree on which is the perfect bread is impossible. Various regional traditions come into play, as well as (and perhaps most markedly) each of our personal preferences. Our palate is unique, capable of perceiving numerous and widely different tastes at the same time, with variable intensities depending on our sensitivity.

While recommending the types of bread that are most suitable to your palate may seem like a tough challenge, we’re willing to give it a try!

It’s our job to shed some light on baked bread, a universe characterized by countless names, picturesque crumbs, and crusts of various thicknesses and consistencies. We want to serve as your guiding light among the supermarket shelves or as you purchase bread from your favorite bakery, because we’re well aware that knowing how to choose the right bread for various occasions is a fundamental skill for any #foodlover.

pane bianco

Therefore, we’ll be looking at 9 bread #Characters, starting with the softest snack options all the way to the most intriguing and mysterious loaves, companions throughout turning points in our lives and served with dinners in which tradition goes arm in arm with cross-contamination, taste, and ingredients!

#TENDER

#Tender bread is soft and doughy, with a moist crumb and practically no crust. Sweetness is its trademark, and a touch of savoriness its calling card. The combination of these two flavors allow it to be paired perfectly with both sweet and salty condiments, thus satisfying any craving that we may have: biting into something soft that’s able to fill first our mouths and then our bellies. Would you like to taste it? Try milk breads, Arabic bread, hamburger buns, or even the XXL toast in your favorite supermarket. Sweet, soft, and perfect for both young and old!

pane al latte

#SUBDUED

With a soft, yet more compact, crumb and with a light and crispy crust, there are the #Subdued breads, characterized by a lovely balance between crunchiness and softness. Despite the lack of salt, this bread isn’t sweet, surprising those who decide to taste it with delicate aromatic notes of flour. Add pane sciocco [foolish bread], pane cafone, and Tuscan bread to your shopping list. What’s its motto? Sciocco and proud of it! If you happen to have a few slices left over, we recommend preparing a nice fresh panzanella, a recipe that’s a lifesaver in the summer months. What ingredients best accompany #Subdued bread? Red tomatoes, thinly sliced Tropea onion, a few cubes of cucumber, a trickle of olive oil, and voilà! 

#CAREFREE

Not much time to prepare lunch? Don’t worry! Make a sandwich with a loaf of #Carefree bread. Crunchy and crumbly, with a secret, hollow center. This #Character includes the maggiolino, pan biscotto, and michetta. When the last of these embraces a slice of ham, it brings tears of joy to our eyes: a snack that chases every worry away and makes us feel like kids again. Do you know the history of the word “michetta”? It’s a Milanese mispronunciation of the German word “kaisersemmel” – the bread which the officers of the Austro-Hungarian Empire brought with them – as the Milanese refused to pay homage to the Austro-Hungarian Emperor using the word kaiser to refer to their bread. Furthermore, the climate in Milan made it impossible for the bread to remain fragrant until the evening. The solution which the bakers found was to change the recipe, using Manitoba flour which was unknown in Italy until the end of WWII. The result was a hollow, almost “puffed” bread that’s crunchy on the outside.

#CASUAL

If we’re talking about the balance between flavors, elegant shapes, and golden shades, then we’re talking about #Casual bread. A bread whose flavors blend together harmoniously for an impeccable experience. Its savoriness exalts the toasty aroma and dark notes of cocoa. This bread has large air pockets which make it very light on the inside, but very crunchy on the outside, thanks to a rather thick crust. The baguette is in first place among the #Casual breads, followed by zoccoletti rolls and ciabatta bread. 

#CORDIAL

Do you want to find something that reminds you of home anywhere you go? Then a friendly and accommodating bread is what you’re looking for. Introducing #Cordial bread: its crumb is soft, compact, and dry, while its crust is rather thin. A present, yet not dominant, savoriness contrasts nicely with sweet and malty notes. The breads which are part of this #Character are mantovana bread, braided bread, and biova piemontese. If you happen to realize that you’ve forgotten a few slices in the breadbox, don’t throw them away. It’s the perfect opportunity to prepare some extra fine breadcrumbs for your passatelli or meatballs.

#TENACIOUS

To find a #Tenacious bread, we must travel between Basilicata, Apulia, and Lazio with the breads of Matera, Altamura, and Casareccio di Genzano, all characterized by the presence of complex aromas and a pleasant, slightly acidic note. Baked in traditional wood ovens, their thick, dark, and substantial crust covers a firm, moist, and holey crumb, making every bite a unique experience. While delicious by themselves, #Tenacious breads are also great as a base for bruschetta and excellent for sandwiches. Remaining close to their origins, fava bean spread and salami are a possible filling for these lovable and headstrong loaves.

#RELIABLE

Bran lovers better listen up! This is the secret ingredient which makes whole wheat bread, the kind with seeds and grains, excellently #Reliable. Dark and speckled, whole wheat bread is a source of vitamins and minerals. Its crust is irregular and therefore also beautiful even just to look at. Thanks to the flour used, its crumb is compact and dry, but rich in complex and intense fragrances. #Reliable breads are very much in vogue these days and can be helpful to those who need to keep their glycemic index in check!

WHIMSICAL

Focaccia genovese, pumpkin bread, walnut bread… What do they all have in common? #Whimsical characters, enhanced by the addition of various ingredients with intense, complex, and fragrant aromas that range from nuts to spices. Their crumb is compact, moist, and doughy, while their crust is enriched with a combination of seeds and spices. Today these kinds of breads have become popular in many towns in Umbria, including Perugia, Bastia, Corciano, Assisi, and Montefalco, in which they’re prepared from November 2nd, All Souls’ Day, until the start of spring.

#LIONHEARTED

If, on the other hand, you prefer more rustic tastes and consider yourself rough on the outside, but soft on the inside, then you should try a #Lionhearted bread. Every bite offers complex and unique aromas. The extremely compact and moist crumb is encased in a dark and fragrant crust. Its aromatic complexity ranges from wood to spices and loaves are sometimes enriched with seeds, aromatic herbs, and nuts. Are you hungry? Go find a valdostano or rye bread. They can be described as flavorful, savory, and spiced, not to mention formidable.

And now? Sop up your favorite sauce, sit down for a mid-afternoon snack, or find any other perfect occasion to bite into some good bread!

pane di segale