Swiss Bread: Chapter 4 “Tessiner Brot”

bread above from Wirth Beck, bottom from Coop Grocerystore.

Quite possibly, one of my favorite breads!  For my family, this bread is special because it’s unlike our normal daily bread.  As you’ve read from previous posts, we like the darker breads made with Ruchmehl (or wholegrain flour).  But, when a tessiner brot comes into our house, it has a very short life span.  It’s delicious when it’s fresh and sometimes if you’re lucky,  warm.

The Beaneater

The ‘Tessiner Brot’ comes from the Tessin region, which is the Italian region of Switzerland.  If anyone knows anything about Italian’s, it’s that they love their soft, white artesian bread.  You are quite hard pressed to locate any other varieties of bread throughout the small town bakeries in Italy…it’s just a fact.  The ‘pane ticinese’ has quite a long standing history in Switzerland, and has even been showcased in the  painting by the Italian artist  Annibale Carracci’s,  ‘The Beaneater’  in 1584.  The bread was also said to have been originally brought to Switzerland from Italy, and was made in 1kilo (2lb) loaves, and sold as the customer’s desired, either in pieces, or halves, or wholes-whatever size suited the customer the piece was then broken off and wrapped to go. Apparently, this bread got it’s revival over the years bringing it back to popularity in the 1950’s, when it was officially showcased as the bread of Ticino.

Again, bread is special.  The whole experience of stopping into a bakery, seeing the delights of the day, picking your choice and the wrap up for the way home…it’s all part of the end result.   Something I wish we as American’s could enjoy, no matter where you lived.  This is, in my opinion, denying us of the simple pleasures in life.

from the bakery Wirth

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