Monday, October 08, 2007

Got bread?


8am one morning, I'm at my local Asda (part of the Wal-Mart group, in case any American readers don't know Asda). The fresh-bread shelves are empty.

"Will there be any bread soon?" I ask. The "baker" points me to some full-size pre-bagged loaves. Not what I wanted.
"Nothing else?" I ask.
"No," she tells me, "that's all."

Then I spy some bread behind the counter on big racks waiting to be put on display. "What about that?" I ask. "Oh, those are rolls," she says. "Yes, that's what I want."
"But you said bread."
"Well, they are bread."
"Well, no, they're rolls."
"Yes, bread rolls," I say.
"So you want rolls?"
"Yes, bread rolls, please."
She harumphs and gives me my bread. (Or rolls.)

Maybe it's me. I've been exposed to Italy too long, and I think of rolls as bread. But they are bread, aren't they? Does bread have to be a loaf from which to make sandwiches? Is it just me...?

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24 Comments:

Blogger martinobhoy said...

The other one that always gets me when I come back from Italy is being offered "a panini" at lunch. I always want to say "It's a panino, panini is plural!"

But would that be a bit too pretentious?

08 October, 2007 11:35  
Blogger Sheamus the... said...

don't hold it against her...she has made science from her bread making job. It is like you were saying I want meat and she was saying we have none. And then you pointed to the fish and said what about that. Meat, beef, lamb fish...all animals. Rolls, biscuits, doughnuts...bread. Mmmmmmmm doughnuts.

08 October, 2007 12:30  
Blogger Avid Andy said...

i think all rolls are bread but not all breads are rolls. when you asked she should have pointed to the rolls.

08 October, 2007 12:42  
Anonymous Franki said...

The more important question is what the heck you were doin in a Walmart store. ;)

08 October, 2007 13:26  
Blogger Milla said...

You went to Asda, what do you expect?

08 October, 2007 13:43  
Blogger cappy said...

speaking as a fully skilled baker by trade....
no, come back, i haven't finished....
oh poo!
ask me one about fish too, as i have an NVQ as a skilled fishmonger!!

08 October, 2007 14:03  
Blogger d34dpuppy said...

y would u buy bread its v easy 2 make

08 October, 2007 16:30  
Blogger lightupvirginmary said...

on this occasion... the snotty asda gimp was right.

08 October, 2007 19:36  
Blogger Martha Elaine Belden said...

a) ditto what franki and pool said.
b) i think that girl is a little too much of a literalist.
c) i'm going to have ditto shea, too. mmmm... donuts.
d) on second thought... mmmmm... all bread.

08 October, 2007 19:45  
Blogger Martha Elaine Belden said...

oops... on a) i meant to ditto milla and franki

08 October, 2007 19:45  
Blogger My Reflecting Pool said...

No, its not you, your walmart chain has been in the US too long. Bread is bread regardless of its shape. She should have asked what kind of bread you were looking for. But crap customer service is another topic altogether.

08 October, 2007 21:45  
Blogger FOUR DINNERS said...

I'd have chucked a roll at her

08 October, 2007 22:42  
Blogger Glamourpuss said...

Asda? Hisssss.

Bread rolls, aka, elves loaves.

Nuff said.

Puss

09 October, 2007 11:06  
Blogger Gardenia said...

Not just you - that is Walmart for you! Some people really are .... uh, I'm looking for a kind word here ....backward.....

There is something with Walmart here - it seems they have nice employees, then then a few of them who are determined the make the Walmart experience an adventure in trying not to lose the temper and/or sanity while trying to pick up a loaf of bread.

Maybe we could make some big bucks (I am on a "what to do when I'm well" kick) making signs of food items with big labels underneath the food picture telling what the food is, for under-trained employees.

09 October, 2007 14:09  
Blogger _z. said...

bread is bread... anything that looks like bread is bread.

09 October, 2007 16:06  
Blogger Biddie said...

I'm with 4D. I would have chucked the bread at her.

09 October, 2007 16:18  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Yeahhh! Thanks everyone (except LUVM, who disagreed :P ).

Martino: That panini/bicotti thing drives me mad. But what can ya do? You can't educate pork, as my old gran would say.

Franki: Sometimes it's gotta be done...

Cappy: Go on...

DP: You must have confused me with someone who knows how to do stuff.

Gardenia: Sing it, sista!

10 October, 2007 11:41  
Blogger cappy said...

there is a difference between bread and a roll. a "loaf" is baked in a tin. a roll is baked on a tray. thats at hte most basic level.
but then we could get into the whole "bap", "teacake" debate. but i haven't got the energy to go there!

10 October, 2007 12:41  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Cappy: Okay, I accept that. Also, I accept that there are different types of bread that use different ingredients, amounts of ingredients etc. BUT... isn't a bog-standard roll made of the same things as a bog-standard loaf? That is, you whack a bunch of mixture into a tin and it makes a loaf; you whack the same exact mixture on a tray and it's a roll.

Point is, both are bread, yes? That's what I'm saying, and you haven't said no yet. A loaf is bread, and a roll is bread (hence bread roll).

So, if I ask for bread, does it not make sense that I might want to know what bread products they have available to me?

10 October, 2007 12:47  
Blogger Cynnie said...

I am spoiled here in puerto rico
bread is a very important food here..
and you can even go to a fucking gas station and get a loaf of good bread baked by local panaderias ( bakeries)

and bread is never wasted..whatever isnt eaten is made into pudin de pan ( bread pudding ..yummy!!)

11 October, 2007 00:27  
Blogger cappy said...

you are, as ever, correct.
they are both bread. but speaking as someone who's worked in a bakery, the ability to bake bread doesn't automatically give us the power to read minds!!
but yes, satisfy yourself with the knowledge that you are right...
(p.s. as someone who's worked in a bakery, i can catergorically state we tend to be a bunch of surly gits too!)

13 October, 2007 12:29  
Blogger Wandering Coyote said...

Being a baker myself, I would have assumed you were asking for a loaf of bread and if you wanted rolls I'd also assume you'd specify and ask for rolls. However, if the shelves were empty and there were only rolls on offer, my retail flunky training would automatically kick in and I'd point out the rolls to you in order to make a sale rather than having you spend nil in my store.

15 October, 2007 03:09  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Cynnie: That's the great thing about those Latin countries, I think. Same in Italy, Spain, etc, as far as I've seen.

Cappy: Ah, you know I love to be right!

Coyote: And now I'm wrong again (!), but at least you'd give me the option!

15 October, 2007 10:04  
Blogger Wandering Coyote said...

Cappy is right; bakers can be surly. I think it's the early mornings. If you started work at 3am you're not likely to have a lot of patience for people who don't understand the difference between loaves and rolls!

15 October, 2007 16:28  

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