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Atwater Bakery Granola

  • m

OK, I hereby confess to a recent addiction to Atwater Bakery's granola -- probably the best I've ever had. It's now my constant mid-afternoon snack -- and often my breakfast, as well. (Please don't tell me how bad it must be for my health.)

The bakery is based in Baltimore, but has a stand at the Dupont Circle farmers' market on Sunday mornings. I won't be able to get to that market most Sundays between now and May, so . . . can anyone (please) tell me where to find this granola elsewhere in the D.C. area?

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  1. Marty, they come to Arlington Courthouse market on Saturday mornings. Their stand is smaller, though, than at Dupont. I can't say whether they have the granola or not. I've not developed the addiction, although I can imagine it would be heaven as a topping on Toigo's peaches and Blue Whatever (the one that does mozzarella and ricotta)yoghurt. NOW you tell me--after the summer is over...

    3 Replies
    1. re: bacchante

      It's funny -- as popular as they are, and as absolutely nice and devoted as the folks there are, I've never really taken to Toigo. It always seems overpriced and the fruit looks better than it tastes. For fruit, I'm partial to the stand just to the right of New Morning, on that same upper level -- I've forgotten the name. In the last few weeks alone, they've had great (and fairly priced) peaches, Italian plums (great for baking), and Honey Crisp apples.

      1. re: Marty L.

        Some of Toigo's stuff is excellent, and some is past its prime and shouldn't be sold to us, certainly at those prices. The trick is knowing which is which.

        1. re: Foodgeek

          Atwaters also appears at the H street NE market on saturday mornings. 8:30am-12:30pm It's in a parking lot in the 600 block of H street NE. You have to get there very eary to get a brownie or cookie.

    2. Now only if Atwaters would start bringing their soups ....

      1. They are also at the Falls Church farmers market on Saturday morning. Their basic white rustic loaf is excellent for fettunta.

        4 Replies
        1. re: ciaohound

          I'm sorry, I have to disagree strongly.

          That country white loaf just doesn't have enough substance to make good fett'unta. Even if I let the loaf go stale, as it really should be to make fett'unta. Even if I cut slices in the morning and air dry them on a rack before toasting. For the same reason, it really doesn't do well in panzanella, pappa al pomodoro, or as a base in a zuppa, although it is less noticeable in those dishes.

          They do have a loaf that is the same shape that has some whole wheat in it. (NOT the Italian rosemary!) It is fine for the above uses. It doesn't have a heavy, wheaty taste as does most whole wheat bread. I suspect it might be made with what is called white whole wheat, which is what I add in when making Tuscan bread here at home. Lest you think whole wheat isn't authentic, it is making something of a comeback in some areas in Italy. After WW II, it seems as if Italy went whole hog for white bread, as the darker bread was a reminder of the bad old (poor) days. Nowdays, some people are rethinking their food approaches.

          Those dishes form part of "la cucina povera," and were created over the centuries to use up old, stale bread with other ingredients that were readily available to the poor. And that bread was not a light white like Atwater's country/rustic loaf. It was a dark, heavier bread.

          1. re: bacchante

            Thank you for the lesson on fett'unta. I will agree with your spelling but it would appear we otherwise have wildly divergent views on the subject. In a dozen (literally) vacations in Tuscany in recent years, and I'm not talking about tourist traps if that is even possible in Tuscany, I've never had fett'unta made with stale bread. In fact, fett'unta is in many ways more about the olive oil than the bread, the perfect medium for great tasting oil. If anything, the Atwater bread is slightly too crusty for my tastes to truly compare to pane toscano as it is found through most of Tuscany.

            Haven't tried the Atwater bread in panzanella or pappa al pomodoro, but have used it successfully as a base for soup, either a bit stale or just toasted on the grill. When I make a Tuscan-like bread at home (rarely these days I might add) I sub in a quarter cup or so of whole wheat flour, not much but it does make a difference. And of course I make it without salt, as it should be and Atwater's is not. It is the absence of salt (also a holdover from "la cucina povera") that makes Tuscan bread such a perfect foil for the salted meats that are also a mainstay of the region.

            I have no doubt that over the centuries many slices of stale whole wheat bread dipped in olive oil were a mainstay for the poor, "lest I think whole wheat isn't authentic" as you so barbedly point out. And, of course I know that it is making something of a comeback in some parts of Italy. On your advice, I'll certainly try it, assuming I can find it somewhere. But I'm not interested in beoming a slave to heritage or history, as if that is always a good thing. After all, "the bad old poor days" you note may well have been "bad," "old" and "poor."

            This time next week I'll have been in Tuscany for 24 hours. I'll have, by then, no doubt eaten and savored several slices of fett'unta. Not to mention porchetta on a roll, also white and soft with a decent crust. I like both for breakfast.

            I'll report back on this year's explorations if you're interested. And I'll certainly be on the lookout for stale fett'unta.

            1. re: ciaohound

              I'll advise the elderly Tuscan women I stay with every year in small town in a small corner of Tuscany where nobody even speaks English--let alone be over-run with tourists. They will be happy to hear the correct version.

              1. re: bacchante

                Better yet, take them a loaf of the Atwater bread on your next trip. Perhaps it will be sufficiently stale by the time you get there.

        2. I used to bake the granola there..and it's not unhealthy at all. Actually it's probably the most healthful snack--The only place you can get it is at Atwaters in the Belvedere Square in Baltimore. If you are interested in making your OWN version of it(its really simple) We can talk.. It is good granola.--Peace, Jamie

          3 Replies
          1. re: jamie

            Oh goodness, is there any way that I can get in on that recipe?

            1. re: jamie

              i am trying to replicate the Atwater Bakery granola bars. Do you have the recipe for the granola and the granola bars? I tried the granola bar recipe in the NY Times on 5/12/10 and it was awful.