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Oct 9, 2006 11:57 PM

Something that looks like cobwebs in baked goods

so a co-worker came to me with a question I could not answer.
She bought some trader joe's pumpkin bread mix and added canned pumpkin to make a nice moist tasty extra pumpkin-y bread. She left it on the counter for two days and cut into it only to find what looked like cobwebs. We're guessing crystalized sugar. Does anyone have a clue about this? It wasn't there the first few days after baking. Thanks!

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    1. sounds like bugs that started webbing
      I have had that several times
      I just throw it out........
      its a shame.......

      1. Thanks for jumping in first bostonfoodie, b/c that's what I thought. I just didn't have the nerve to suggest it first.

        4 Replies
        1. re: hbgrrl

          no problem. I think if something looks weird, don't eat it. Better safe than sorry. I will NEVER forget when I was in college and baked some goodies for my then boyfriend and when we were chatting about a week later he mentioned that the blueberry muffins I baked were gone. BLUEBERRY?? I baked CORN. Eeek. You can figure out the rest. I guess he was inoculated for sometime. LOL.

          1. re: bostonfoodie111

            Oh I like that story. I got a good chuckle out of it.


            1. re: Davwud

              Thanks - I STILL do and haven't been in college in a looong time. :)

            2. re: bostonfoodie111

              I give up- what the hell was it? I gotta find out!

          2. This sounds like pantry moths! We think these were introduced to our house by a big box of oatmeal. After throwing away a lot of grains, etc., we think we won the fight. However, last night I went to use my chili pepper flakes and guess what had taken up residence! They are nasty buggers and your friend should wrap up the bread and the box the mix came in in a plastic bag and toss it (if they haven't already).

            10 Replies
            1. re: kate used to be 50

              if the cobwebby things were in the *mix* I'd agree, but I don't think they'd show up in cooked goods in a matter of 2 days. I've only ever seen those in boxes of flour or rice or whatnot. And for the record, they really like chocolate as I discovered when I had worms (ok larvae) crawling out of a lighly cooked topping. Yuk.

              1. re: DGresh

                I was thinking the pantry months are in the kitchen and attack the bread after it was sitting on the counter top.

              2. re: kate used to be 50

                Kate we've been fighting these for years. I've thrown everything away and just can't seem to get rid of them. They like spices and seeds. We brought them in with birdseed. No more bird but the moths stayed. I notice them everywhere now. Other people's homes, the grocery I was at Michael's craft store and they were buzzing around. If the grocery stores have them, how am I ever going to get rid of them. I think they're under control and they come back. They do go dormant during the winter but come spring, they're back.

                1. re: mrsmegawatt

                  I so feel your pain. I threw every grain,flour, nut and piece of cardboard that was in my cabinets out (yep, expensive). Then I wiped down all the shelving with clorox cleaner. Did get some this summer and realized they had laid eggs in the shelf support holes in the cabinets, so same drill. Now any grains, flours or the like that comes into the house goes into a plastic bag. This summer/spring season wasn't nearly as bad as last years and I haven't seen any in over 2 months (said with fingers crossed).

                  Hate 'em!

                  1. re: kate used to be 50

                    Kate I was curious as to how you figured out they were in the support holes in your cabinet? I'm wishing I could crawl in there with a flash light and a magnifying glass. What evidence did they leave?

                    1. re: mrsmegawatt

                      They were just reaching maturity and I saw one of the bodies in the hole, so that made me look at the other support holes!

                  2. re: mrsmegawatt

                    i'm here to tell you, I had an invasion that ever-so silently got WAY out of control. I vacuumed out the entire cabinet, threw almost everything in it away, sprayed with bug spray (which I really, really hate to do, everything. I now put anything they like in glass or silicone-sealed plastic, and the little bastiges are still there. A friend who happens to be an entymologist told me that she had an infestation in her apartment in Oregon, and the bugs were living in the actual shelving, living on either the wood or the adhesive used with plywood and particle board. I think I also have them in my pots and pans cabinet, which I know for a fact hasn't had food anywhere near it on well over ten years. I need to nuke my kitchen of all wood and start over. meanwhile I use those sticky flour moth traps with the hormone lure stuck on it in all cabinets. Ecologically safe and it works, but only on the bugs that are of flying age.

                  3. re: kate used to be 50

                    Just a day or two ago, I found moths in my tub of chili flakes - that was the last place I expected them! Was bummed to have to chuck the whole tub :(

                    1. re: bobbyperu

                      That is what happened to me too!!! Although I was lucky and at the end of my bottle of chili flakes.

                  4. So, how can you tell if they are in your flour, etc.? Many of my spices are in glass, but the flours are in paper (except for the pastry flour, which is in plastic bag). I saw what must have been one of these creatures in a baking shop. I bought parchment paper there. The parchment paper was unwrapped because they divide up larger boxes of the sheets and sell them. I am afraid I brought them (the moths) home.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: bruce

                      Many times when they're present, the little moths fly out when you open the cupboard.

                      1. re: oakjoan

                        Their eggs are in a lot of things you buy (don't think about that - shudder) but if you take your bag or flour, rice, etc and freeze it over night, it neutralizes them. also, it's good to decant that kind of stuff into a clamp-top rubber o-ringed glass jar

                        1. re: bobbyperu

                          Yes, I have started keeping all my rice in the freezer because of this. It is so gross.

                      2. re: bruce

                        Bruce, I've found the webbing and larvae in spice bottles made of glass. They work their way around the threads where you screw on the lids. I'm ordering clamp down 4 oz. jars from the container store. That's the kind of thing I keep my flour, sugar, cornstarch, rice, cornmeal in. I'm still fighting them. Glass with screw on lids isn't fool proof.

                        1. re: mrsmegawatt

                          I think it is more likely that there were eggs in spices. Which later hatched. It has happened to me frequently.

                          1. re: Becca Porter

                            Becca, in this instance, I've found their shell like larvae sheddings in the thread paths of the screw top part of the jars. That's why I thought they either got in or out that way. Did you happen to get rid of yours completely or are you still fighting them?