Monthly Archives: February 2019

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The Bretzel Bakery’s Brexit

The Bretzel Bakery was asked to comment for the Claire Byrne Live show last Monday on the effects on business if there no agreement reached about the border with the UK. Michael’s personal story of Omagh bombing was tragic, relevant & harrowing – but the business end of Brexit was treated rather lightly. It’s not possible for a programme like that to go into detail on such a complex problem but while Tony Blair’s original spin doctor, Alistair Campbell, was allowed to talk for far too long, he did remake the point that process is about the survival of the Conservative party in the UK…and Ireland’s issues are not what is driving them.

There is no doubt there will be some negative effects if there is no agreement. The problem is no one knows what is going to happen and we can only make contingency plans based on hypothetical situations. The Bretzel does not export but as some of our ingredients have to pass through the UK we will not be immune. There probably is no ingredient sourced from or through the UK of which we could not get the equivalent or better straight from Europe. There may be those who will use any outcome as an excuse to raise prices and it is likely that costs will rise. Our aim will be to look after our customers, ensuring continued supply and mitigating as far as possible any increases.

But perhaps this will help focus all our minds more on where our food comes from, and even encourage consumers to buy more locally. We may find we are no longer prepared to accept food that travels unnecessarily.

** As a footnote, I couldn’t resist a spin on the topical “The Metabolic Age Testing” machine which showed a pleasant surprise of 38 years !!! We should get some of my favourite healthy❤ carbs into Leinster House😊.


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Sourdough and Wholegrains in 2019

Roughly one third of the population has a new year’s resolution. Most are related to health: losing weight, eating healthily, or giving up alcohol. The healthy eating options are myriad; fat used to be the big bogey, now we are told that there are good and bad fats. One day we are encouraged to adopt low carbohydrate diets, now we’re told concern about our intake should not stop us eating unprocessed and good quality foods. It is welcome news that whole-grains can reduce the risk of major diseases as reported in The Lancet last week. Although calling it ‘news’ suggests that this is something we have not known about before. The wisdom that whole-grains are good for you has been around for a while. Adequate fibre in our diet is known to promote good gut health so it follows that wholegrain breads and foods should be better for us.

Fermentation is another popular thing right now, but it is not a fad. Fads come and go. Fermentation as a process has been used for centuries as a means of preserving food. Fermentation in dough provides greater breadth of flavour and a moist texture. Sourdoughs keep longer, are more nutritious and, because of the action of the bacteria in the natural yeast, are more easily digestible. Using good wholegrain flours in a long-fermentation dough brings these two things together and creates a simple food that is high in fibre but low in fat and sugar. That’s the science, but the bread tastes good too: the depth of flavour makes it not just good for you but a joy to eat. And did I mention that it’s vegan?

The Bretzel Bakery won a gold award for a wholegrain sourdough, so sourdough is fast becoming recognised as a better bread. The trend towards healthy eating can only help its justifiably healthy reputation.

Many resolutions made in January are abandoned in the first few weeks of the year. With the revival of artisan bakeries around the country, sourdough is more readily available. Eating good bread is a habit that can be maintained.

William Despard, Bretzel Bakery owner

#bretzelbakery  #realbreadireland #sourdough #blas2018 #wholegrain