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Colored bread-ties and freshness

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breadtie.JPGYesterday, 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.

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  • Lilikoi
    September 21, 2008

    I’m rather late with the comment here, but this reminds me of how Poi is packaged in Hawaii. They also used different colored ties, and there are little signs on the rack which tell you what delivery day that co-ordinates with. The reason is that some people like fresh poi, and some like it more “sour” so this allows people to know how old it is, and get whichever they prefer. (Personally, I don’t like it at all, but that’s another story.)

  • Dorothy
    September 9, 2009

    The other day I bought a loaf of bread with a black tie on it . I thought that maybe I missed a tie day ,but I don’t see a black bread tie . do you happen to know what day this tie would be?

    Thank you for your help


  • Razxr
    October 1, 2013

    [I now it is a late reply to an old article, but the subject has come up recently in social media].

    Black ties/tags usually denotes bread baked in-house (not delivered), special orders or if to be delivered on Sundays (to retain alphabetical order due to the lack of a common color name starting w/ letter “A”).

    Bread is generally not baked/delivered on Wednesdays in the US (except for larger brands like Wonder or large store brands like Walmart), but Orange is used on those days.

    Brands shared with Canada (Weston Bakeries) or Mexico (Grupo Bimbo), such as Wonder brands have a different colors than the common BGRWY schema:

    Weston Bakeries (Wonder in Canada):
    Tue – Yellow
    Wed – Yellow
    Thu – Violet
    Fri – Violet
    Sat – Red

    Grupo Bimbo (Orowheat, Entemann’s, Sara Lee, Wonder [in Mexico])
    [the largest baking company in the world]
    Mon – Yellow
    Tue – Green
    Thu – Red
    Fri – White
    Sat – Blue

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