I've been in search of plastic free bread, and I've found one that I really like. They are called Della Fattoria, based out of Petaluma, CA. That's +1 for Della since that places it within a 15 mile range of my home: definitely local! The closest place I can buy it is at Whole Paycheck... I mean, Whole Foods, San Rafael. That's a lengthy 9.1 miles from my house. Hopefully when Whole Foods opens up in Novato they'll carry Della Fattoria because they are less than 4 miles from my house by bicycle, slightly more by car.
Okay, enough about distances & transportation, let's talk about Bread. I tried out a loaf of the LEVAIN. Listed ingredients on the brown paper wrapper are organic wheat flour, water, organic rye, sea salt. Pretty simple really, but as always, the devil is in the details. Case in point: when I looked on the Della Fattoria website, I noticed a discrepancy between the packaging and the website for the listed ingredients on the Levain. I short phone call later and I was speaking with Kathleen. Looks like I managed to find a typo in the packaging! For the complete list of ingredients, see the website. I was looking for something wheaty, soft and tasty so that my son would like it. When I picked it up off the shelf at approximately 6:15pm, it was still soft and smelled good: a good sign! Next to it were several other brands of Artisan Bread, all wrapped in either plastic or paper WITH plastic. Jeebus... why does almost everyone do that? There are some other great bakeries in the Bay Area and almost every single one uses plastic in their packaging, which generally precludes me from buying it despite the good flavors, smells and tastes!
I brought the bread home along with my bulk legumes and grains (unfortunately, I had no cloth sacks for these items so I had to *sigh* use plastic bags.) I spent about 15 minutes attempting to chase down cloth sacks for holding grains/legumes but Whole Foods is not carrying them right now. HERE'S A TIP WHOLE FOODS: PUT THEM NEXT TO THE THINGS THEY SHOULD BE USED FOR SO THAT PEOPLE KNOW THAT THEY HAVE AN OPTION, THEN YOU WON'T HAVE SUCH A HARD TIME MOVING THE PRODUCT! DUH!
So I got the groceries home and put away (which included taking the bread and putting it in a reused plastic bread bag to keep it from drying out), finished making red beans and rice and decided to have a bowl along with a slice of bread with butter. YUM! *special note: when I talked with Kathleen, I found out that Della Fattoria bread should NOT be stored in a plastic bag: they use a wet dough and bake in wood fired ovens and it means that plastic will make the bread go soggy: follow the directions on their website!*
Now, I understand some people don't like Rye or Pumpernickel, and I can respect that, but this is good bread. It's a slightly different taste when you put the different flours together with the wheat, but I dig it: it's very hearty. I had considered the Rosemary & Meyer Lemon bread (it smelled delicious), but I was trying for neutral ground with the boy & I wasn't sure how he'd react. I'll try that next time and let y'all know how it goes. In the meantime, keep your eyes open for plastic free bread in YOUR area. If you live in Marin, check out the store finder at Della Fattoria.
Some corrections from Kathleen:
date Mon, Nov 17, 2008 at 4:37 PM
subject RE: Levain Review on my blog
Hi Ian! Well, not a typo really, just sort of a technical thing related to the way the state want(sic) ingredients listed. Pumpernickel is a coarse rye, like a whole grain rye, but the wording should correctly be rye. For your readers who would like to understand better, this bread is about 60% whole grain 10%rye 40% whole wheat, and 40% white flour. I find kids usually like this bread a lot. It makes great toast and the world’s best peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
The “who carries our bread list” is unfortunately outdated. We stopped serving most of Marin and San Francisco with the exception of Whole Foods San Rafael.
Thank you for taking the time to write about us, word of mouth is the best!