Saturday, November 20, 2010

Product Review: Nature's Pride bread

As a member of Foodbuzz's Tastemaker program, I occasionally receive an offer to try new products and review them right here, on home sweet blog. I have two lovely loafs just begging to be written about from Nature's Pride Oven Classics line of sliced bread - Oatmeal, and Whole Wheat.

You don't have to have read much of this blog to know that when it comes to bread, I am obsessed addicted a real enthusiast. Naturally, I jumped at the chance to try a brand I've never had before - let's see if there really is something better invented since sliced bread!

[Leave me and my insistence on using cheesy adages alone pleasekthanksbye.]

Oh bread. How I do love you.
Especially when covered in dark chocolate almond butter and smashed banana.

But this post is not about toppings - let's face it, what are nut butters for without a vehicle upon which to put them?

Enter: bread.
This bread.
Nature's Pride Oven Classics

I tried the Oatmeal bread first, mostly because it was all white and fluffy and shares a name with one of my favorite breakfast foods ever.
Appearances were not deceiving.
Dark chocolate almond butter (addict? who, me?) + raspberry jam.
This combination might not have been as good, however, if not for the soft, honey-sweet bread beneath it. While I usually don't like white bread - the crust always tastes weird to me compared to the white part - this made a mean pb &j. And no high fructose corn syrup to boot? Win.

I really liked the Whole Wheat.
Yes, that's right - enough to eat it plain. (So I eat plain bread. If that's weird, I don't wanna be normal.)
It had that nostalgic, homey taste - like, "this is what mom packed in my lunch every day" homey. It really had a nice flavor, not just blah dry wheatness. Now, I have had plenty of other good-tasting wheat breads - they're kind of hard to avoid nowadays - but what I love about this is that it has no HFCS involved. Seriously, get your creepy overprocessed crap out of my bread. Major props to Nature's Pride for keepin' it real. Or natural, as it were.

I will admit, I am not a huge fan of sliced bread. Tasty as it can be, it still has an overprocessed feel to it. Bread is so easy to make and it always tastes better when it's fresh and, um, not found in plastic bags. BUT - and that's a big but (teehee) - I am the first to recognize that not everyone, myself included, has the time/ability/patience/etc to make their own bread or buy the fresher stuff, and sliced bread is just so convenient. I love seeing products like Nature's Pride stuff that aims to keep it natural and without the preservatives, fillers, and words with more syllables than should be allowed in any language in the ingredient list. This is not just a crunchy-granola-head-organic-eating-locavore rant - this is based on my own experience. I not only enjoy bread more without all the icky stuff, but I feel better physically. And that's where I stand :)

As much as I miss my dearly beloved bakery and constant access to fresh bread in Florence...
....maybe that's a memory to keep in Florence. Corner bakeries aren't exactly a cornerstone of American culture, and I think that's an important thing to acknowledge. I talk a whole lot about how much I love & miss Italian culture and the lifestyle there, but I wouldn't necessarily want to impose that culture on my own country, which has its own interesting culture and foods and peoples. It's so easy to go abroad and look down on your own country for what they don't have - but for me, I've realized that there is no 'better' or 'worse', just different. That's why studying abroad is so important - you gain that respect and understanding not just for other cultures, but for your own. That's pretty important too.

America, land of sliced bread? Well, yes. But we've got some darn good sliced bread.