Local Artisan Bread & Patisserie

Monthly archive for March 2015

Let’s get “Fresh”

Let’s get “Fresh”

Fresh is a much abused term in the British Food industry.  Its use is designed to make you feel you are getting something created very recently  – but have you ever stopped to think what some of soundbites truly mean?

 Freshly baked – Stays Fresh for longer – Fresh food – Fresh from the oven –
Fresh farm vegetables – taste so fresh- and we mean fresh – Fresh as a daisy

Somehow Fresh conjures up the concept of nature, green/ organic, health, cooked with attention,  just-made from raw… Unfortunately for innocent shoppers, the  fact is that food producers are allowed to use “Fresh” in a way that conceals their true process.  Can you believe that all of the below are “fresh”?

  • Highly processed ingredients mix with Preservatives which inhibit natural food degradation, even for months
  • Food items that are “gassed” at the start & then preserved in special chemical plastic film
  • Items made an age ago, transported in freezer lorries for sale or even baked off in-store. These are often made with flour with added “improvers” (look out for this euphemism)

You can conduct your own experiment at home – any bread that is still “fresh” after 3 days, is almost certainly unnaturally preserved. Any bread left in a bag which doesn’t mould after a week has preservatives.

The American FDA approves  “fresh” even for foods with waxes & coatings, post-harvest pesticides, mild chlorine or acid washed or if treated with a level of ionizing radiation.  That’s reassuring then…

This week an article was published about an unwrapped chocolate muffin bought in a coffee shop chain.  It was bought in January this year, sat open on a desk in an office atmosphere since then, and some 6+ weeks later was still suspiciously squishy, moist, unmouldy &  “fresh” when tried.  What on earth was in it to keep it like that?!  How long had it been sitting in the coffee shop for sale since it was “freshly made”?! Nature’s progress for a real food muffin should have been staling, followed by normal moulding.  It could take several days & even a week to naturally degrade – but degrade it should have done!

The irony is that these foods may have been charged at low price points –but given how cheap to produce & store, undoubtedly the products are over-priced for what they actually represent.
Anyone remotely concerned about health- good digestion – quality food couldn’t possibly want to consume such a product.

But we also promise “Always Fresh” in Rex!  How is our food provenance process any different from this?

pan gallego, spanish bread, spain bread, sourdoughOur philosophy is to promise that we are hand-making our products ourselves, from end to end on the premises, every single morning.   Our flour is only 100% organic with nothing unnatural in it to artificially speed up the development or the size or how long the breads last.

What does that practically mean for the Rex range?

All bread* , viennoiserie*, buns & scones are baked  the day they are put out to sale & if they don’t sell that day, we discard them.  Be reassured that everything we make freezes well in your home for future use, if properly wrapped & defrosted in plastic.  We won’t ever re-sell day old bread to you though – there will be a new bake that night instead!

*100% sourdough Rye wrapped in clingfilm betters over the hours so that may have been made 1-2 days before
2 x hazelnut croissant, twice baked* Twice-baked viennoiserie requires pre-made croissants & pains au chocolat – they are then transformed to a delicious confection using sugar syrup & new ingredients

We make all the ingredients for the daily sandwiches and toasties & soups ourselves every few days – we roast our own free range chicken & Mediterranean vegetables, we make our own pickle, hummus, mayonnaise, stock.  We even pull pork & salt beef ourselves!  You can trust us that we are meticulous with pre-washing all the salads & vegetables we buy in before use – we don’t want anything from hygiene risks through to additives interfering in Rex food.

Biscuit bars & cakes – we are selling more & more of these in Rex in 2015 and they could have a natural shelf life of many days & then even longer in your home.  To be honest, we are remaking all the time as they don’t last very long in Rex – and probably even less in your homes!

chocolate brownieSo you can be sure that Always Fresh really does mean what we all think Fresh should mean, in Rex.  We’ve thought long & hard about providing the very best quality & Real freshness on your doorstep – Oh, and about being seriously yummy 🙂

Have a great week!