Friday, October 06, 2006

Bread in Chicago - III

I'm pretty strongly on record being a Freddy's advocate. And Joe is always asking me to try something new outta his kitchen. Often a satisfied lunch ends (or begins anew) with a plate of something he sends out. So, if I glorify Freddy's Bread, I express an obvious bias.

Freddy's breads are not great breads, yet they are some of the best breads in Chicago. Like ice cream, sometimes freshness and active participation overcome technical skills or great ingredients. Freddy's breads just taste better. The crust, as shown is not strong or crisp, but the crumb is moist, with a strong taste of yeast. I'm fairly certain that some of Freddy's breads have a touch of shortening, which gives them some richness. They are not cloying nor artificial tasting. If there is shortening the touch is light. Overall, the elements balance, crust, crumb, richness.

Note, on a daily basis, Freddy's offers several bread shapes, and the shapes do influence taste and flavor. This one pictured, what I will call slit bread, is especially doughy/bready and not quite typical of all Freddy's breads. Thus, the rating below is only for this bread.

Freddy's Pizza is at 1600 S. 61st Avenue (16th Street between Austin and Ridgeland)

  1. Freddy's Slit Bread
  2. Liborio
  3. Turano

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Meet the Papple Lady

This is Oriana. She showed up at the Green City Market one day in September. She sells papples or Asian pears or apple pears, which have become the go-to fruit for Hannah and Sophia. Oriana is not the only person who sells papples at the Green City Market, but she might sell the best. Try. She will, willingly offer up a selection of that week's papples in what she calls green, brown or yellow. She also sells delicious dried pears and more conventional pears.
She has some other interesting stuff. Like black walnuts. Like Concord grapes, this is produce that screams farmer's market/local. You cannot find these otherwise. And if people gave up on Concords for the big pits, people gave up on these nuts because, well try to open one. Luckily, Oriana has a device that cracks them. It's still some work, but it's a start.

Another thing she has is ground cherries or chokeberries, which are, I believe, a relation to the tomatillo. Don't let the cherry part fool you. They are more vegetal than fruity (in fact the black walnuts are a lot sweeter). Still, they have a sly, yet and interesting intense taste. Best, Oriana promises they will stay for a long time in their protective husks; something to think about as I have told the kidz that this year, baby carrots are anathema in our house.

Do say take minute to say hi to the Papple Lady, sample, and buy.