The Good, the Bad, and the Delicious

There was an article a few years back in the New York Times Sunday Magazine by renowned food writer Michael Pollan that illustrated a curious contrast. The article relates how, when shown a luscious piece of chocolate cake on a plate, the word that comes to mind for Americans first is 'guilt.' The word that comes to mind first to the French, when shown the same cake on a plate, is 'pleasure.' The article ended with photos of the same piece of cake on a dessert plate after being eaten by an American and by a Frenchman. The Frenchman's plate, when done,  still had half the cake still on it; the American's plate, when done, was empty except for a few crumbs.

We American's sure do hate our food (and ourselves apparently) and yet we can't stop eating. The French love their food, but know when to stop once they are sated.

Now, I am not an American basher. Just because I run a European-inspired bakery doesn't make me any less red-white-and blue than the next guy. In fact, I was born less than 10 miles from where I have operated my little shop for the past 32 years. So while I am a local patriot, I have consciously picked up my head now and then and tried to see beyond my local limits for gustatorial enlightenment.

Michael Pollan has also coined the apt phrase that we Americans have 'an unhealthy obsession with eaten healthy.' Eating bread is not bad for you; eating bad bread is bad for you. Eating dessert is not bad for you; eating overly sweet desserts that lack fresh and nutritious ingredients is bad for you. What we really should do is eat a varied diet (we are omnivores after all) and in moderation. Mostly, we should also eat real food and not, as Mr Pollan has said, 'food-like substances.'

At the Bakery we strive to offer a wide range of products that contain good, simple ingredients. The following photo display, with brief descriptions, illustrates the variety we produced this Saturday; it spans the gamut from organic, whole rye Vollkorn Bread to a cornucopia of fruit desserts, many made with local, seasonal produce. All of our products use moderate to low amounts of salt and sugar. They are as close to 'real food substances' as possible while still allowing us to be a part of the civilized world of epicurean pleasure. Enjoy.

  • Vollkorn Bread- Organic whole rye berries and rye flour with organic flax seeds.
  • Semolina Filone- Extra fancy durum flour and a mild sourdough base, rolled in sesame seeds.

  • Fresh Apricot/Almond Cream Tarte
  • Peach/Plum/Blueberry/Ginger Galette
  • Cherry Danish
  • Strawberry Mille Feuille
  • Mixed Fruit Boat
  • Lemon Curd Tarte

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Bakery Normand
192 Main Street
Northampton, MA 01060

Tuesday to Saturday, 7:30am-5:30pm

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