Thursday, June 25, 2009

Nestle recalls cookie dough

The summer heat has really affected the bakery business. Just like every summer. Nothing new. The Northwestern campus empties out, the temperature climbs, the city closes our streets to allow who knows who, from who knows where, to come sell who knows what, at the Evanston Art Fair. The heat chases everyone to the beach and the ice cream shop. Can't say I blame 'me to much. Tough time of year to be makin' all butter stuff. Puff pastry and croissant dough made with shortening isn't affected by the heat nearly as much. but, I just can't do it to our customers.

Last night we started at the Andersonville farmer's market. It went very well. We sold out quickly. Very quickly. Next week the gang has got to step it up. They don't know yet, I'll break it to them slowly. Our performance last night further supports my belief that the world is starving for QUALITY baked goods. Mainly bread products. I heard it, half a dozen times last night, "we can't get good bread around here". That is not meant to discredit the Stanton Family at Swedish Bakery. Great friends, nice people, we/you all know they do a great, great job with whip creme pastries, cakes and cookies. On top of that, cleanest place I've ever been in. They don't do much in the way of artisan breads. In fact when I heard about the Andersonville market, Dennis Stanton was the first call I made. He is a fellow member of the Bakers Dozen group. I asked him if he minded us being in that market(its 1 block from his bakery). I offered that we wouldn't be selling anything that conflicted with his line of goods. He said "go ahead". If he had asked me not to do it, I wouldn't have. I appreciate our relationship more than any farmer's market.

So, my favorite, first customer approaches our table, a very boisterous woman, who is very familiar with our offerings. Said she "frequents the GCM". We were just getting started, my wife Patti and I worked the market. Another woman comes close to our table. We had a basket of herb ciabatta. We brush ciabatta loaves with garlic and rosemary infused olive oil and cover it with cacciocavallo cheese. Second woman asks Patti what type of cheese we use on the herb ciabatta. Woman number one answers "they use cacciocavallo form the Serra cheese company in Michigan. It's six dollars". She loudly went on about how good our bread is, about the crust, how she gets it Saturday's and Wednesdays at the GCM, "But we're really not far from the bakery. Right up Clark street", she said. She stood there for another six, seven minutes, just going on and on about our stuff. If i could find her now I'd hire her to stand there all night, next Wednesday.

Don't know if you heard, Nestle recalled some frozen cookie dough. I'm surprised that e.coli or anything else can live in something that is laced with stuff you'll never pronounce. Again lots of x's and z's. They gotta put that stuff in there to make it last in the freezer, I guess. Don't think the Nestle cookies are any different from the ones in a grocery store. The grocery store one's might be without e.coil, but all the other junk is in there.

Just another incident that supports my theory, "know your baker, know your bread". Buy it local, buy it baked. Buy it somewhere, where it is mixed and baked in the same building.


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