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Why do bakeries that cater to white folks...

...Insist on making their wheat bread so damned sweet?

When I purchase sliced sandwich bread baked by one of the ethnic commercial bakeries like Stone Bread or Breadland, the wheat bread is rich and even slightly, pleasantly bitter but the stuff I get from TJ's or Whole Foods is like having dessert, which is disgusting when paired with tuna or pretty much any other savory sandwich filling.

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    1. TJ's and Whole Foods cater to "white folks"? Did you seriously just post that?

      8 Replies
      1. re: carolinadawg

        To be fair the OP said "caters to". But yeah, still pretty bad.

        1. re: foodieX2

          Sorry, edited my comment and made yours out of context.

          1. re: carolinadawg

            No worries. Either way it's a gross generalization on the part of the OP

            1. re: foodieX2

              Sorry for the gross generalization. I suppose you shop there with a blindfold on.

              1. re: JeMange

                Not at all. My local WF and TJs are in predominantly white areas but I still see plenty of non Caucasians. When I go visit my friends and family in another state I would the number of caucasians shopping there are less than half. The area around there is predominantly Asian, Indian and based on the language I would say South American/Brazilian.

                Regardless I see overly sweet bread offered in every commercial market I go to but luckily my local WF also offers some wonderful alternatives. They have wonderful sour ryes, nutty whole grain and 100% whole wheat which when toasted is perfect for tuna.

        2. re: carolinadawg

          What the person wrote is that those stores "cater to" white people. I haven't done a marketing survey, but based on the complexion of folks at the branches of those stores in my neighborhood, I don't think it's an unfair assessment.

          1. re: Jack Flash

            Edited my response to more accurately reflect what the OP said. And what he/she said is a gross generalization that is insulting to the stores and their shoppers. It also doesn't reflect the "complexion" of the shoppers I see in those stores where I live, especially TJ's.

            1. re: Jack Flash

              I don't know what your neighborhood demographics are, but the TJ's in my part of Brooklyn is a pretty close reflection of mine, and definitely isn't lily-white. Nor necessarily upper middle class; TJ's takes food stamps, and their combination of healthy products and good prices would appeal to anyone in the know, regardless of race or economic status.

              While I'm disagreeing, I like the whole wheat bread I get at TJ's, which doesn't strike me as "overly sweet." If
              JeMange thinks it is, then fair enough, tastes differ. But to make a racial issue of it is irrelevant and tendentious.

          2. would that also be your explanation why the whole wheat crust served at california pizza kitchen is "honey wheat" and is extremely sweet and is, imho, disgusting?

            personally, i am mystified why any baking operation should decide that folks of any ethnicity who want to buy whole grain products would want those products to be sweet.

            i prefer whole grain organic breads that are not sweet.

            18 Replies
            1. re: westsidegal

              And yet the sweeter breads are purchased by someone.

              1. re: wadejay26

                Westsidegal, I appreciate your feedback but I think you're looking at this a bit backwards.

                Any successful manufacturer knows its customer base - their general racial/ethnic makeup, their shopping habits and the other products they purchase and consume. This would imply that these products are designed to cater to that specific demo - hence my original post that wheat bread sold in stores with a predominantly caucasian customer base tends to be overly sweet.

                Obviously, if the targeted customer base didn't care for sweet wheat bread, both the manufacturers and retailers would be forced to either "pivot" and rethink their recipes or go out and find a customer base that liked the extant recipe, no?

                1. re: JeMange

                  in my area, La Brea Bakery makes a really terrific whole grain bread that is not sweet. La Brea Bakery has now found it's way into Ralph's, the large grocery chain.

                  Trader Joe's, and many of the other chains are COPYING the "artisanal" style of La Brea bakery. (yes, whole grain bread that is a COPY of La Brea bakery's product can be found at TJ's--it's the crusty stuff that is not sliced).

                  it certainly appears that the love of sweet bread (think Hawaiian bread or Portuguese bread) predated the interest in whole grain bread.

                  1. re: westsidegal

                    At least in Washington, TJ is using one or more of the local 'artisanal' bakeries as supplier - with TJ paper bags. I recognize an overlap in styles.

                    1. re: paulj

                      The TJ we frequent in Bellingham has the most pathetic bakery section if you can call it that. It may be the smallest section of all their other products in the store :-(

                      For breads and things, we just skip across the road to Avenue Bread :-)


                      1. re: LotusRapper

                        You may be out of the delivery range for the Seattle bakeries.

                        I wouldn't describe the 'artisanal' section the at Lynnwood store as large. It's one wood book case with 3 or 4 shelves. I think they get the bread from Essential Baking. But their price is a dollar or two lower.

                    2. re: JeMange

                      Yo I eat, maybe should learn to bake bread if you do not already know how. Maybe that would solve your problem.

                      1. re: JeMange

                        What about stores in predominantly Black, Asian or Hispanic populations?
                        Is the Wheat bread at Mi Pueblo, Ranch 99 or a Safeway in a African American Neighborhood a different formulation?

                        1. re: chefj

                          A provocative question without an answer. What are you fishing for?
                          I know that the Heinz ketchup facility in Canada that is shutting down, used a sweeter ketchup formulation because Canadians prefer sweeter ketchup.
                          So what?

                          1. re: Veggo

                            Any link confirming that info? (the sweeter ketchup, not the shutdown)

                            1. re: NanaMoussecurry

                              No link. I read a lot, and I remember a lot of what I read.

                              1. re: Veggo

                                ...not to mention hearing, touching, experiencing, living. Not everything has to be cut and pasted from a link.

                                1. re: acssss

                                  I understand you. We all must prioritize our fingers, our brains, and get some rest and touch flowers and make frogs jump.

                                  1. re: acssss

                                    I never said most of that. What did I say that you object to?

                                    1. re: Veggo

                                      No objection. I was emphasizing what you said. There are people who read, listen, experience, learn and others who cut and paste from links they read on the internet and live solely by that. I prefer your method :-)

                                  2. re: Veggo

                                    Reading something does not equal knowing something.

                                2. re: Veggo

                                  No fishing at all.
                                  Does any one believe that the Orowheat at Ranch 99 is different than the one at Mi Pueblo? or Safeway?
                                  The OP is suggesting that bread is being formulated differently base on the clienteles race.

                        2. I feel blessed to have never truly had a "sweet tooth," and what little I did have I outgrew early. I remember being surprised when I tried a sample loaf of one of the many breads we did not buy, a then-best-selling brand called Butter-Nut, and it was almost as sweet as a breakfast pastry! That was about 60 years ago, so the American taste for sweet foods has been around for a long time. In fact I think it's diminished quite a bit as we've become more generally sophisticated about diet and nutrition.

                          JeMange is taking more heat than warranted here for pointing out a simple and easily confirmable fact: grocery stores stock products aimed at the fat middle of their known demographic, and in the case of TJ's and WF that demographic is predominantly middle-class Caucasian. Of course there are shoppers of every ethnicity, but the foods they find there are the sort that can fill the typical white American family's pantry completely, but not necessarily that of a Latino, Asian, African-American or Middle Eastern household. Mrs. O and I are both of European descent, with some other ethnic strains present but not predominating, but we are not typically white American in our tastes, but we're related to plenty of folks who are. This includes quite a few people who I strongly suspect like mass-market style "whole" wheat bread, and prefer it to be sweet. We prefer TJ's Flourless Sprouted Wheatberry bread for nutrition, French or sourdough for fun. Yes, the "serious" bread has some sweetness to it – it's virtually held together by dates! – but it still makes a good sandwich, including tuna.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: Will Owen

                            Thanks, Will. Your second paragraph states my feelings perhaps more eloquently than my OP.

                            The fact still remains - mass produced whole wheat breads - which I'd bet my life are primarily consumed by middle-class white folks, tend to be too sweet for me. It's like the manufacturers had to balance their perceived health benefits with enough of a "treat" flavor to make consumers think eating healthy wasn't some sort of punishment.

                            1. re: JeMange

                              Upon What do you base your assertion that caucasians have more of a sweet tooth than other ethnicities? I've never heard that before.

                              1. re: carolinadawg

                                The whole premise of this discussion is false from my prospective.
                                I would wager that artisan Bread Bakeries in my area are most frequented by Whites.
                                When in a Latino or Asian Bakery the Breads are MUCH sweeter than the local Amer/Euro Bakeries and about on par or sweeter than mass produced Breads. As far as African American Households I am guessing that the standard grocery store (Wonderish) Loaf is most common. That's what you are served at Black owned BBQ and Soul Food places around here.

                          2. There's too much sugar in most processed foods, not only bread.

                            1. I'm not sure I get your point.

                              Bread, good bread to me, is long, has a crunchy crust and a wonderful, almost savory crumb. White folk bake this stuff all over the world: Europe, Asia, North America, South America. Locals replicate it.

                              I do enjoy the sweet loaves of bread when my wife and I sail into a Bahamian island but that goodness is an island speciality.

                              If you don't like the bread at your local store, go to a different store.

                              2 Replies
                                1. re: Cheese Boy

                                  Good bread, fresh from the oven, always puts a smile on my face.

                              1. Some wheat breads have a molasses aftertaste. I avoid those the best I can.
                                If I wanted sweetness I would have purchased Pumpernickel from the start.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: Cheese Boy

                                  There is no sugar or molasses in the pumpernickel I buy.

                                  1. re: GH1618

                                    Artisan bread ? ... or commercial ?

                                    1. re: Cheese Boy

                                      Commercial — Rubschlager. Although some pumpernickel has molasses (including some Rubschlager), it is not an essential ingredient.

                                2. What is an "Ethnic Commercial Bakery"?

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: chefj

                                    bakery at Vallarta market or Tous Les Jours in the Galleria markets...King's Market has a lot of packaged baked goods with brand names that I haven't seen before. In Indian stores, a lot of baked goods are in the freezers, such as parathas, naan & roti.

                                  2. My local bakery, run by a Vietnamese couple, makes excellent baguettes & rolls (no whole wheat breads)& also great pastries & doughnuts. I'd say their clientele is split evenly between 'white folks' & Hispanics, & I made the major faux pas of asking, when I first moved here, if they made banh mi (they don't, but I really wish they would). I'm just happy that I have a good bakery right around the corner.

                                    1. Bake your own breads. Here is a link to a great site. Even a toddler ( NOT that I am comparing your mentality to that of a toddler)could bake most of the items on this site.http://www.breadtopia.com/ IF you bake your own then you alone are in charge of quality control:)

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: MamasCooking

                                        Not many people these days have time for baking, easy or not.

                                        1. re: GH1618

                                          I agree. "The best thing since SLICED bread" can be trumped by "The best thing since COOKED bread". Baking bread is great
                                          and it has its rewards, but it's also time consuming and messy.

                                      2. You think white People eat sweeter bread than non-whites?
                                        Ever had Hawaiian Bread, or White Bread from a Chinese Bakery?
                                        I think that your initial statement is bunk.

                                        1. The people baking most of the bread where I live are fantastic . They can bake with the best, even one of our local bakers was a guest on Baking with Julia.I'm not sure who their catering to but it's world class.

                                          1. The only time I recall having sweet whole wheat bread is when I bought a loaf in the 1970s at the Black Muslim Bakery in Sacramento, CA.

                                            1. I suspect 'white folks' and 'ethnic' are sending this discussion in the wrong direction.

                                              From the web it looks like Breadland has eastern European/Russian roots. That area has a long tradition of making hearty whole grain breads, especially rye. Actually northern Europe in general used rye and barley in their bread because they grew better and more reliably than wheat.

                                              White wheat bread used to be an expensive item, but around the mid 19c a new milling technology (roller mills) made white flour cheap, and white bread became the norm in much of the USA and western Europe.

                                              When whole wheat came to be viewed as more healthful (2nd half of the 20c), what sold best was something close to the familiar white. Sugar or other sweetener helps mask the bitter edge that whole wheat can have. Sweeteners with free glucose (honey, molasses and syrup) also help keep bread fresh, that is, they resist staling.

                                              My own preference is a hearty bread, what is often sold as a 9grain. My current choice from TJ is a Sasquatch Grain and Seed bread, with 1g sugar per 34g slice.

                                              Once I bought (also from TJ) a well regarded Milton's multigrain, and thought it was too sweet, with 5g sugars per 43g slice. In the PNW we also have Daves Killer Bread which makes a big deal about being whole grain and organic, but it too has 4g sugar/43g.

                                              Whole grain, including rye, bread is not common in Asian or Hispanic bakeries. Their bread is mostly white, some modeled on the French baguette, some sweeter. Hawaiian Kings bread is 7g sugar/38g.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: paulj

                                                I really enjoy Milton's Seeds & Grains bread. Their website says that the bread has "a hint of honey" but I don't find it sweet. This from someone who dislikes sweet and savory
                                                together (for instance, I love coconut and I love shrimp but coconut shrimp? BLEH!)


                                                1. re: MysticYoYo

                                                  The nutritional label lists 6g sugars per 43g slice. That's about the same as their softer wheat bread. But with the coarser texture and seeds that might not be as evident. 'sugars' includes sucross (sugar), fructose, glucose, maltose. Honey roughly equal parts fructose and glucose. Fructose tastes sweeter than glucose, while glucose contributes more to the keeping qualities of bread. So the numbers on the label are a start, but not the whole story.

                                              2. OP: "Why do bakeries....[irrelevant]....insist on making their wheat bread so damned sweet?"

                                                OP 2 hours later:
                                                "Obviously, if the targeted customer base didn't care for sweet wheat bread, both the manufacturers and retailers would be forced to either "pivot" and rethink their recipes"

                                                Question answered [no racial commentary needed]

                                                1. As someone who only visits America as a tourist, I suspect the OP nails it (although it wouldnt be my choice of language). I find foodstuffs and food preparations often sweeter in America than in the UK or other European countries I visit. It's catering to what I always presume to be the American sweet tooth which also puts sweet with savoury much more often than I'm accustomed to.

                                                  35 Replies
                                                    1. re: carolinadawg

                                                      Obviously. Hence the OP and my response to it (not that I mention colour)

                                                      1. re: Harters

                                                        The OP's premise appears to be that white Americans have more of a sweet tooth than other ethnicities, and you seemed to be agreeing ("the OP nails it"). If that's not the case, my apologies.

                                                        1. re: carolinadawg

                                                          No, I was agreeing with a premise that "ethnic bakeries" may well bake a product less sweet than "non-ethnic bakeries".

                                                          Of course, everyone is "ethnic" and my assumption was that the OP meant "minority ethnic" (or whatever would be the appropriate phrase in America). My assumption was that the OP was suggesting that a bakery producing goods specific to those of tradition to particular ethnic groups - the style of the "old country", if you wish - produced goods less sweet than a bakery producing loaves for a more general market. In that, I'm certainly agreeing that the OP may well be right.

                                                          1. re: Harters

                                                            Well, as has been mentioned in several posts, there are many "ethnic" bakeries that produce sweet bread, so I don't really think that premise caries much weight.

                                                            1. re: carolinadawg

                                                              Sorry, but dont understand the logic of your post. Just because a bakery produces something sweet in its range how does that negate the OPs premise?

                                                              Maybe I'm missing something here about your view, but I also see other posts below (from bagelman01 and acssss) generally noting the difference between craft bakeries and major producers, as does the OP.

                                                              I'm sorry that you attach little weight to my opinion, but such is life. I can only repeat, from experience, that I find food preparation in America often much sweeter than other countries I visit, or in my own country.

                                                              I'd be interested to hear your own views on the OP. You havnt yet commented on the substantive issue in the OP - the relative sweetness of loaves produced by minority ethnic bakeries and the two major national companies mentioned in the OP. What's been your experience?

                                                              1. re: Harters

                                                                As others have noted, many "ethnic" bakeries produce bread that is objectively sweet, more so than most "white American" bread, and that has been my experience as well. That refutes at least a portion of the OP's premise, IMO.

                                                                The more pertinent premise the OP posited is that "white folks" prefer sweeter bread more than other groups. Nothing supports that view.

                                                                1. re: carolinadawg

                                                                  I presume that the ethnic bakeries the OP named are baking to sell to their market, just as the two national chains are selling to their market. The evidence from the OP is that s/he can taste a difference in sweetness between the products. Others contributing to the thread make the same observations.

                                                                  Again, would you like to contribute to the conversation by recounting your own taste experiences at ethnic craft bakeries and national chains?

                                                                  By the by, the few minority ethnic bakeries where I am in world are usally owned by white people.

                                                                  1. re: Harters

                                                                    No, actually others have made numerous observations that don't support the OP's assertion. And I've given you my opinion based on my experience. Good day.

                                                    2. re: Harters

                                                      I find it that the German and Germanic breads in Europe to have a sweet touch to them. Even the potato breads have added sugar.

                                                      1. re: Gastronomos

                                                        Any bread that uses yeast needs sugar to help it grow. At least the ones that I bake do.

                                                          1. re: coll

                                                            Sourdough, biga, poolish, sponge (preferments) are all made from flour and water only and can be added to yeast to make bread: pugliese, ciabbata, baguette, etc. No sugar is ever added.
                                                            (bagels are the exception)

                                                            1. re: acssss

                                                              Many other Bread styles do have added sugar

                                                              1. re: chefj

                                                                Who said they didn't? Challah, pita, naan, bagels, brioche - all add sugar.

                                                                I was responding to Coll's statement that ***any*** bread that uses yeast needs sugar to help it grow, and that is not true.

                                                                1. re: acssss

                                                                  Agreed. Just a misunderstanding in point I guess.
                                                                  It looked like you were saying that only Bagels have added sweeteners

                                                            2. re: coll

                                                              D'accordo (I agree)! However, yeast likes honey, a monosaccharide, and also vitamin C more than table sugar that is a disaccharide. Monosaccharides are more easily digested by yeast.

                                                            3. re: Gastronomos

                                                              Really? Besides schwarzbrot and pumpernickel, I find German breads to be much less sweet than American breads. I've actually never noticed a sweetness in potato bread -- and it's one of my favorite breads to have with cheese.

                                                              On the contrary, almost every single American mass-produced, packaged & sliced bread, wheat or whole wheat, tastes sweet to me. TJ's has one kind that is not sweet. That's the one we buy for sandwiches.

                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                Exactly. We make our own authentic German breads quite often. Our potato bread - no sugar and not sweet at all. Our pumpernickel - authentic German style without molasses or sugar (like U.S. pumpernickel) and it also doesn't come out sweet (maybe very mildly sweet) - instead, it has a strong rye taste. I am not familiar with the schwarzbrot.

                                                                1. re: acssss

                                                                  Schwarzbrot is basically like pumpernickel. Perhaps a bit less sweet.

                                                            4. re: Harters

                                                              What did the OP Nail?
                                                              If you are saying that OP's Comment is true then you are supporting the racial aspect of the post.

                                                              1. re: chefj

                                                                As I said in an earlier post, chefj, he nails the premise that that "ethnic bakeries" may well bake a product less sweet than "non-ethnic bakeries" to cater to the tastes of their customer base.

                                                                I'm certainly content to express the opinion that different cultural groups have different food preferences. If that is supporting a "racial aspect" to the OP, then I'm equally content with that.

                                                                1. re: Harters

                                                                  Do "white people" Constitute an ethnic group?
                                                                  That "ethnic bakeries" premise is false, Chinese, Vietnamese and Latino Bakeries all bake sweeter breads than most American/Euro bakeries do in the U.S.
                                                                  Visiting as a tourist does not give you great base to make your assertions from.

                                                                  1. re: chefj

                                                                    Was that a rhetorical question? If not, then it would probably be more relevent for you to address it to the OP and not me, as the OP was posed from an American perspective and I have no idea if "white people" constitute an ethnic group in America. Presumably not in the opinion of the OP, from the wording of the post. FWIW, where I am in the world, white people certainly constitute an official ethnic group making up some 86% of the population, according to our 2011 census.

                                                                    By the by, I'm enjoying this thread - that's now two of you dismissing my opinions. Great fun.

                                                              2. re: Harters

                                                                I agree Harters. Not only does every German, Italian, French tourist say to me that the European breads in America taste much sweeter, many of the bakers themselves, in bakery kitchens across the country that I visit tell me that they add sugar to their European breads to "satisfy the American sweet tooth" (their words, not mine)

                                                                1. re: Harters

                                                                  Mark Bittman says, that all bread should have flour, yeast, salt........ nothing else. I agree with this statement, although I do like artisan breads for different flavors.

                                                                  The average American diet has sugar in almost everything that is processed, even just a loaf of bread.

                                                                  I don't like sweetened breads for the most part and have tried lots of the large corporate ones. I agree, most are sweetened.

                                                                  I believe that it's really up the consumers to read labels. I remember reading an article a long time ago and it said if you read the word sugar, fructose, etc in the first three ingredients, then it's high in sugar.

                                                                  But, by far it's the American way.... sweet, sweet, sweet, sells food!

                                                                  Obesity is rampant here and yet very little is done to lessen our sugar consumption.

                                                                  1. re: mcel215

                                                                    Mark Bittman is NOT the be all to end all expert on bread or anything else!
                                                                    For starters, you can't make bread with just flour, yeast and salt; where's the liquid?: Water is an intregral part of bread dough.
                                                                    Furthermore, many breads have other ingredients such as eggs (and that doesn't make it cake!) or seeds.
                                                                    Unless one wanted to live a boring life of Italian/French/Vienna bread you need additional ingredients.

                                                                    Personally, I don't like a Rye bread that doesn't have caraway seeds, and you can be dard sure that I use eggs in making challah.

                                                                    You may not want sweetened bread, but that doesn't mean all other ingredients are forbidden

                                                                    1. re: bagelman01

                                                                      You know bagelman, Bittman was making a point (I believe), about the over abundance of preservatives in our food and even bread.

                                                                      Artisan breads have many wonderful ingredients I agree.

                                                                      But I also think Bittman is an expert on a lot of "food" things and I like his philosophy. He makes sense to me at least. :)


                                                                      1. re: mcel215

                                                                        If Bittman was making that point, it wasn't in your post.

                                                                        That said, sometimes there is a need for preservatives in food. Not everyone can shop for fresh bread everyday.

                                                                        I live in New England. Each winter there are days when I can not get out in the snow to shop. In the past two years we have had terrible fall storms that shut the area down for a week or more (Hurricane Sandy, for example). NO power for days on end. That packaged bread with preservatives that didn't require refrigeration sure was important in our diet.
                                                                        All the food in the freezers was ruined. Generators last only so many days, especially when there was no fuel to be had to keep them running.

                                                                        1. re: mcel215

                                                                          These preservatives in bread retard the growth of mold. What's your preferred way of doing that?

                                                                          1. re: paulj


                                                                            I freeze all my bread products so they don't get moldy. I do get freezer burn because I cut back on eating bread.

                                                                            And by no means, do I stand on any ceremony of "not eating supermarket bread". I have a loaf in my freezer. I just don't like the idea of the added sugar in it. I do read the labels and get a brand that has the least amount of sugar in it.

                                                                            Most of the time, if I eat a sandwich, I eat it in a low carb/low calorie wrap.

                                                                            My posting here, was just to agree that there is a lot of added sugar in bread nowadays. And speaking for myself only, I don't like it.


                                                                            1. re: mcel215

                                                                              Me too. I freeze a lot of bread and read labels.

                                                                              American breads are too sweet for me to eat. They taste too sweet. Disgusting.
                                                                              I buy some bread from a German shop or make my own. Otherwise, I just can't eat it. I find it gross.

                                                                        2. re: bagelman01

                                                                          I agree wholeheartedly! There are many different kinds of bread and lots of variations. Yes you can make bread with just salt, flour and water but you can also make challah, brioche, rye, pumpernickel.. There is a place for sugar and milk/yogourt in yeasted bread but not in place of fermentation

                                                                      1. Race involved in bakery goods, really? Never entered my thoughts when buying donuts.

                                                                        7 Replies
                                                                          1. re: Tom34

                                                                            I think the thread conversation ought to RISE to a higher level of civility ;-)

                                                                          2. re: treb

                                                                            So are you saying that different races and cultures do not have their own cuisines? Visit a few other countries and you will see that you are completely wrong. And I would argue that many Americans have a sweet tooth more so than in many other nations. We HFCS in everything, even foods that shouldn't be sweet. That is because Americans love super saturated flavor. There is an entire food science industry that has figured this out.

                                                                            1. re: sisterfunkhaus

                                                                              Yes, but to steer back to the OP, do white Americans have more of a sweet tooth than other Americans?

                                                                              1. re: carolinadawg

                                                                                Who cares? I hope our government does not commission a multi-million dollar study to find out.

                                                                            2. I won't comment on your "white folks" verbiage. BUT I take great EXCEPTION to you referring to Trader Joes as a bakery.

                                                                              You might ask why to grocers sell packaged sliced wheat bread that is sweet.

                                                                              I buy my bread in a bakery and have it sliced to order. I was in the bakery business (hence my moniker). Packaged goods often have sweeteners added to mask the loss of freshness on the shelf. It doesn't matter who the retailer is, it's NOT fair of you to compare bakery breads and packaged breads.

                                                                              19 Replies
                                                                              1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                I agree bagelman01. However, most of the bread bakeries in the U.S. also add sugar, molasses, cocoa, etc., to satisfy the sweet tooth of Americans... they add only 10% rye and call it "Rye Bread"... and various other tricks. My husband and I routinely take road trips specifically to visit bakeries around the country and finding a good bakery that sells authentic breads of other countries is very difficult in the U.S., and if you do stumble upon one, their breads are very expensive.

                                                                                1. re: acssss

                                                                                  Americans may, or may not, have more of a sweet tooth than others, but if that's true, it's hardly confined to white Americans, as the OP suggests.

                                                                                  1. re: carolinadawg

                                                                                    Where do you see that I wrote that Americans have more of a sweet tooth than others?

                                                                                    1. re: acssss

                                                                                      You wrote "bakeries in the US add sugar...to satisfy the sweet tooth of Americans", which certainly implies you think Americans like things sweeter than other groups.. MY point is that the OP said this sweet tooth is exclusively attributable to, or more often attributable to, whites. Which is ridiculous.

                                                                                      1. re: carolinadawg

                                                                                        Americans have a sweet tooth - that is a fact. I never implied, nor does my remark imply, that I think they have a sweeter tooth than other groups.
                                                                                        ...and with regards to the OP comment - I think it is more relevant to reply to the OP if you think their remark is ridiculous, not to me.

                                                                                        1. re: acssss

                                                                                          So do you think all people on earth have a similar sweet tooth? You have singled out Americans now several times. If you don't think Americans have more of a sweet tooth than others, then why do you keep singling them out?

                                                                                          By the way, all humans crave sweet, it's biology. Implying any group, whether it's whites (as the OP did) or Americans (as you did) crave sweet more is, as has been pointed out, is a gross generalization.

                                                                                          1. re: carolinadawg

                                                                                            FUZZY LOGIC:
                                                                                            If all of my friends are Democrats... and some Democrats are single DOES THAT MEAN THAT some of my friends are single? No.

                                                                                            1. re: acssss

                                                                                              I agree, your "logic" is fuzzy, and it's very difficult to decipher your points, but it sounds as if you are now saying that you do think Americans have more of a sweet tooth than other groups. Quite confusing.

                                                                                  2. re: acssss

                                                                                    I don't know where in the USA you live.
                                                                                    I live in south central Connecticut. While most of the kosher bakeries I grew up with have disappeared, there are plenty of independent ethnic bakeries making and selling very good bread.
                                                                                    No shortage of Italian bread bakeries whose product is NOT sweet, same for Portugese.
                                                                                    I do find the breads made by the Latin Anerican bakeries to be sweet, especially Mexican and Brazilian.
                                                                                    There is a local mini-chain (3 locations) that makes eastern-European breads that are superb.

                                                                                    Blame our government for allowing bakeries to use only 10% rye flour and being able to label the product 'Rye Bread.' The standrds are get by the FDA, not the bakers and large commercial bakeries will use only the minimums required in order to be competitive.
                                                                                    I also disagree that if you find a bakery selling 'authentic' breads of other countries they are very expensive. If a loaf of Wonder Bread retails for $3.69 in the supermarket, a wonderful bakery loaf of Rye, Pumpernickel, Charnuski, Challah, Italiam Sesame Semolina, or the like for $2,99-3.99 is NOT expensive.
                                                                                    All bread shot way up in price under the Bush administration when we started exporting so much wheat to Russia and China (same for cereal). Once the price goes up, it never really comes back down to previous levels.

                                                                                    What I find expensive and objectionable are the phony artisinal breads in chains such as Panera that sell for $7.69 a loaf.

                                                                                    1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                      Levels of sweetness, preference, taste and price are very subjective, so we will have to agree to disagree.

                                                                                      With regards to the Rye, I don't blame the government or the bakeries. Personally, I don't call it Rye bread.

                                                                                      1. re: bagelman01

                                                                                        I like plain bagels, boiled and baked, not the crap sold in many franchised bagel shops and grocery stores. Fruit in bagels really turns me off. I tell the goyim that "my people didn't have time to put fruit in bagels when they had run from the Egyptians to make it across the Red Sea after Moses parted it." Soft bagels are a disaster as well.

                                                                                        1. re: ChiliDude

                                                                                          I don't think they had time to make plain bagels either

                                                                                          1. re: acssss

                                                                                            Don't you know sarcasm when you see it?

                                                                                          2. re: ChiliDude

                                                                                            they didn't have time to put yeast in the bread either. Passover is not the feast of 'unfruited bread'. :)

                                                                                              1. re: ChiliDude

                                                                                                I confess I occasionally like a toasted blueberry bagel and cream cheese with morning coffee, when it is too early for garlic or onion. I rarely have a sweet tooth any other time of day.

                                                                                              2. re: bagelman01

                                                                                                I agree with you on Panera. The only really good item the have is their orange scones.

                                                                                          3. One of the very largest US Commercial Bakeries, known as Oroweat in the West and Arnold in the East -- it distributes to Costco and other warehouse stores as well as regular supers -- has probably a dozen different varieties of multigrain, high fiber breads, many with no sugar or sweetness to them at all. If they aren't available at your regular stores, search their website for an Outlet location, of which they have many all over the states; they usually have a wide variety of these as well as their sister brands.

                                                                                            Any time a loaf or the bag it's wrapped in comes out looking funny, or if it doesn't sell after a day or two, it's pulled and put into the Outlet store, where instead of $3.69 it goes for like a buck. Sometimes you can get those giant four-pound Costco twin-packs that usually go for six bucks for $2.50.

                                                                                            They're mass-market breads but some of them are quite good. Many of them taste like twigs and rocks, which is how I know the Health Foodies out there like them.

                                                                                            1. You're just shopping at the wrong stores. I'm a devotee of rye bread that I buy at an outlet store of a bakery. There's all kinds of bread there baked by recently arrived Africans mainly from the north of the continent. All kinds of languages are spoken at the little outlet store. One of the counter personnel is from Ivory Coast who I can greet in one of 3 languages that he speaks...American (I don't speak English), French (his native language) or German (his and my school languages).

                                                                                              BTW, I find the subject of this post racist. Didn't any the others who replied get that impression? JeMange (I eat) should look for a bakery that caters to people of all ethnicities. Maybe her/his impression may change.

                                                                                              Buona vigilia di Natale, buon Natale e buon anno!

                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: ChiliDude

                                                                                                I get a lot of my produce from a store owned (I think) by Vietnamese. It is multi-ethnic, with Asian, Hispanic, Middle Eastern, and eastern European products. They sell a variety of breads from Portland's Eurobake, including hearty Russian (and other) ryes, sweet Ameminian nazook, and a sweet braided raisin bread. Apart from the Vietnamese sandwich rolls, their items from an (SE) Asian bakery are sweet.

                                                                                              2. First, JeMange already stated below that "white folks" was not intended to mean what many of you are reading it as, and that it should have been worded differently, so enough with the racist references.
                                                                                                No one on this thread who has given their opinion thus far is racist.

                                                                                                Second, I have no problem with sugar and/or eggs in my bread. I adore Challah, brioche, pita, naan etc., and I agree that life with just one type of bread is boring.

                                                                                                However, personally, I would prefer if those selling specifically named breads like Pugliese, Ciabatta, Baguette, Pumpernickel, Rye, etc., to give their breads a new name when they are not even close to being that of the original. It is NOT like the original, so why try to make it so?

                                                                                                1. This is an easy problem to solve, don't shop at places that cater to "white folks."

                                                                                                  1. What role does bread play in your cuisine? There was a time when several pounds of coarse bread was regarded as the usual ration for a soldier or household staff. Now I probably eat less than a pound of bread a week.

                                                                                                    When 'whole wheat' bread is consumed as breakfast toast with jam, does it matter whether it is sweetened or not? In a sandwich the sweetness can be more of an issue - unless it is a turkey sandwich with cranberry sauce. Or the dressing is Miracle Whip.

                                                                                                    The bitter edge of unsweetened whole grain may also be an issue, especially if you don't grow up with it. Kids especially don't like bitter things (mostly). I didn't take to coffee or beer until age 40. Old people whose taste and smell acuity have declined are reputed to have an increase sweet tooth.

                                                                                                    It's been argued that an aversion to bitter, and a craving for sweet, are evolved survival traits. Many poisons are bitter, while sweet fruit is richer in calories.

                                                                                                    1. This post is beyond weird, as are alot of the responses

                                                                                                      Americans do not have more of a sweet tooth than anyone else. And white people do not eat more sweet bread than any other group.

                                                                                                      I have seen plenty of overweight Europeans as well as Americans, I don't think anyone has a corner on bad eating habits.
                                                                                                      I do think some people have a holier than thou attitude.

                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: grumpyspatient

                                                                                                        Agree, And who the hell are, " White Folks ". Confused ? I am.

                                                                                                        1. re: emglow101

                                                                                                          Strictly on a color spectrum, I suppose the opposite of Black Folks. Really is silly isn't it

                                                                                                        2. re: grumpyspatient

                                                                                                          actually, it's a documented fact that western societies ("white") eat a lot more sugar than non. our sugar intake, diabetes, and cancer levels are much higher. studies have been on inuit indians and their diets pre-westernization and post-. sugar, diabetes, and cancer all went up.

                                                                                                        3. I think it is an American sweet thing. Not a white folk thing. Americans tend to become fat and unhealthy...all races and creeds. Sugar has something to do with it, amongst other things, IMO. Not a race issue.

                                                                                                          1. The softest and sweetest sliced sandwich bread I have ever had was found in the Japanese section of an Asian market. It made great PB&J.

                                                                                                            1. Have you been to a bakery that caters to Asians? talk about SWEET. and let's face it, Whole Foods and TJ's do tend to set up shop in predominantly "white" neighborhoods. When I worked in Compton/Watts I certainly didn't see a whole lot of WF/TJ combos but I did see a bunch of Taco Bell/Pizza Hut combos. I say "white" bc there are exceptions to this rule. If you ever go to TJ's in San Gabriel,CA it's mostly Asians and TJ's near LAX in Westchester gets the Inglewood crowd so it's very mixed. Not so sure why this post is so confusing to many.

                                                                                                              1. Could be you change your name to "Cracker." Not an insult, some of my best friends are crackers.

                                                                                                                Did you ever eat King's Hawaiian buns? Real sweet. Paired with some kimchee and pulled pork they are especially popular in Seattle.