29 October 2015
“In the end all your children move among the scattered acts and memories with no more clues. Not that we ever thought we would be able to fully understand [our parents]. Love is often enough, towards your stadium of small things. Whatever brought you solace we would have applauded. Whatever controlled the fear we all share we would have embraced. That could only be dealt with one day at a time—with that song we cannot translate, or the dusty green of the cactus you touch and turn carefully like a wounded child towards the sun, or the cigarettes you light.”
Our emails, once a week, will keep New Orleanians informed about the State of Grain in our city and our region. As you know, Bellegarde is the only bakery in between Asheville and Arizona that stone-mills its own flour. We strive to source organic grains that we mill fresh and bake into healthy and delicious whole grain breads. We are convinced that the health issues which plague our city—obesity, violence, mis-education, ecological and cultural erosion—are bound to the lack of fresh food. Food access is a systemic Policy issue: everyday that we bake whole grain bread with freshly milled flour, we tweak one more nerve in the System. Each nerve pinch is our desire to re-establish our region as a self-efficient food economy and re-create the cuisine of New Orleans with fresh ingredients…a revolutionary Gordian knot.
We all speak the language of food and we all seek the pleasure of flavor. What more perfect medium to communicate change than with bread? Pandering to demand in a regional food system is not as important as nurturing supply: quality will dictate quantity. Help us democratize that staff of life.
Our New Stone Mill: Our mill is officially in New Orleans. Please visit our website to see pictures: https://bellegardebakery.wordpress.com/the-mill/ There is a short essay about our the mill, and its importance to us. A tremendous amount of gratitude, awe, and respect go out to Andrew Wren of Elmore Mountain Bread in Vermont who built the mill from scratch. Andrew is a fish out of water in these times; no words or gestures can explain our thanks.
Don’t forget that we plan to have an open house with drink and pizza within a few weeks. Please stay tuned for details.
New Grains: We are currently sourcing some incredible grains in the bakery. All of these grains are Identity Preserved (IP). IP is term which denotes that an agricultural product has retained its integrity from sowing to harvesting. Instead of milk from four corners of the country coming to Brown’s “dairy” in Central City, to be pasteurized and homogenized, IP products are vertically integrated: the producer and the consumer are the only participants in its creation and consumption. We are receiving 8000# of white wheat from Kansas next week; white wheat has traditionally held a smaller stage than typical red wheat. But it possesses all the health benefits and baking qualities of red wheat, minus the tannic (bitter) flavor. It has gained popularity in the past two decades because people eat with their eyes; someone, supposedly, would be more apt to eat whole grain products if the color approximated white flour. Our white wheat is grown 1,100 miles from our bakery from farmers marketing directly; no middlemen, managers, or distributors. Kicking rungs out of the unnecessary supply chain and re-establishing the integrity of flavor. It will go into every loaf of our bread, along with our organic IP wheat from Pomona, CA: the Joaquin de Oro.
Blog Posts: I currently post a blog essay once a month; if you or anyone you know may be interested in learning more about our process and our projects, please stay aspired at: https://bellegardebakery.wordpress.com/blog/. Food is about sharing; but being holed away in Broadmoor at 5am doesn’t always allow us to share everything we’d like to about our craft, our passion, and our bread. So we found a nice closet for it on the Internet.