We all buy bread from the supermarket. After all, sandwiches and French toast are on everyone’s weekly menu. Bread is in all our shopping lists, and although just picking a bag of bread is easy, you can buy fresher, better bread if you know about a little secret.
Have you ever noticed the twist tie in bread comes in distinct colors? That’s no coincidence; it’s a system used by the supermarkets and the bread suppliers to know which bread was delivered on a specific date. Here’s all about it.
It’s all about freshness
Fresh bread is better than stale bread, that’s obvious, but knowing which bag of bread is newer than others is not an easy task. Well, it kind of is. It turns out bread suppliers and supermarkets have a color code for the bread delivered every day of the week.
Bread delivered on Monday might come with a blue twist tie, for example, so when the supplier comes back to rotate the bread, it won’t mistake it with bread from different dates. The supermarket staff can also ensure the new stuff is displayed in the back, making sure you buy bread from the day before. You get the idea.
The color code
So, there’s the color code used by most supermarket chains and bakeries in the United States, and it’s also used in other countries. Bread delivered on Monday comes with a blue twist tie. Tuesday bread has a green one. Red is for Thursday bread, and Friday bread is marked with a white twist tie. Saturday bread comes with a yellow twist tie.
Bakeries nationwide often take Wednesdays and Sundays off, so there’s no color for them. If you want the freshest bread, look for today’s color. At the very least, avoid getting Tuesday bread on Thursdays and Saturday bread on Mondays!
When in doubt, check the date
What if your supermarket or its bread supplier uses a different method for distinguishing bread? Well, in that case, your safest bet is looking at the production date printed on the pack. The ‘best before’ date will also give you an idea of which bread is fresher.
And if all the above fails, you can always do like our grandmas and mothers did before us, gently pat the bread and find the fluffiest one! You can develop a pretty accurate sensitivity to find the softest bread in the aisle. Just don’t go squishing all the bread!
How long does commercial bread last?
Bread’s shelf life varies a lot depending on if you’re dealing with artisanal bread from a bakery or packaged bread from the supermarket. Generally, bread from a bakery lasts for 2-3 days. On the other hand, packaged bread can last between 5 and 7 days. That’s because producers add to it lots of preservatives, which are not that healthy.
And talking about expiration dates, did you know you can freeze any type of bread for up to six months? That’s a great way of always having bread in hand. Thaw in the fridge before using.
What to do with stale bread?
Okay, suppose you bought bread, and it’s stale. We’re not talking about moldy bread or anything, but perfectly good bread that has lost some moisture and fluffiness. In that case, you can always dip stale bread slices in whisked eggs and make French toast. You can also make bread pudding with stale bread, and if it’s dry enough, you can even grate it to make homemade breadcrumbs.
Anything, from homemade croutons to garlic bread, there are many uses of stale bread, as long as it still looks and tastes good. Bread is noble like that.
Enjoy fresh bread every time!
Now that you know the secret color code behind packaged bread in the supermarket, you’ll buy bread smarter, which means fresh bread every time! As long as the decades-old color system is still the standard for the most popular bread brands, you’ll know when the bread was delivered. Forget about getting less than optimal bread. Beat the system!
Share this valuable information with friends and family, and let’s all enjoy fresh bread every day. You learn something new every day, right? Well, if you didn’t know, now you know. Consider yourself a bread expert.