Yesterday, Heloise had several food-related questions in her column and gave out – as usual – some great advice. The first question asked particularly interested me, however:
Can you get a list of the colors of bread ties/matching days delivered for the major brands? Hard to tell when the fresh loaves have been delivered.
The connection between bread-tie colors and delivery dates is, if not entirely an urban myth, certainly something that is not standardized in any way. Red ties on Mondays? Aubergine on Thursdays? These days, almost all bread manufacturers these days use plastic tabs imprinted with the sell-by date, so it is very easy to tell when a loaf needs to be eaten.
Better yet, there is one simple way that doesn’t involve even looking at the twist tie/tab: feel the bread. A loaf of sliced sandwich bread should feel pleasantly soft, even if it is a fairly dense whole grain loaf. Bread dries out as it ages, so older bread will generally be a bit stiffer than the fresh stuff. And if you really want to go for freshness, either bake your own bread or pick up an artisan-type loaf (which most supermarkets now stock, in addition to the bakeries that produced them) and refresh it in your oven before slicing.