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Re: Re: breads--crust

it's mostly the crust. i have a brother-in-law who made his first fortune by introducing the baguette to washington, dc. sitting in a sidewalk cafe in paris in the very early 70s, eating bread dipped in olive oil and balsamic vinegar, he asked his wife--"why can't we get nice, crusty bread like this in washington?"
and she said something like "because nobody bakes it." true story.

so he came back to washington and started a bakery. now it helps if you know semih. he is not the kind of person who does or believes in hands-on adventures. so he sponsored for immigration three french-trained Vietnamese bakers. he and a partner opened a bakery and began producing baguettes. they began retailing them through liquor stores; the called themselves "vie de france."

within three years they had 107 [count'um] bakeries nationwide. all producing only baguettes; all sold through liquor stores.

semih and his partner were offered $7 million for the operation. they sold. they also signed non-compete agreements.

semih went into real estate. he re-built row houses on capitol hill and in mount pleasant. meantime, vie de france fell on hard times.

so as soon as the non-compete clause expired, semih cashed out of the real estate business [a couple of million richer] and started another chain of bakeries, this one called baker's place. these were more ambitious bakeries than the earlier ones. they made all kinds of crusty breads.

[for the literary, he opened one in denver, which is run by his son. this one is called baker's street because the son, jeff, wanted to call his seconds, "baker street irregulars."]

in 1994, the baker's place bakeries merged with a competitor--and sealed semih's fortune. and that's the true story about crusty bread and how it can improve your fortunes. i have no evidence it will make your hair curly.

At 06:26 PM 12/15/02 -0500, you wrote:
> we are the only country
> of the world that eats that god-awful wonder bread stuff.
Man, I have always hated that stuff that turns to dough the minute you bite
into it and sticks to the roof of your mouth.  I grew up on -what else?-
potato bread.  Good solid stuff.  You toasted it for breakfast, made
sandwiches on it for lunch, and that was your bread with dinner, not to
mention a snack before bed.  Wonderful stuff.  It destroys my kitchen when
I make it, so I make a marathon of it and make at least 4 big loaves at a
time and freeze or give to my sister.  Nothing considered to Ma who made it
her whole life, 10-12 loaves at a time.

When I buy bread now, it has to be that heavy-duty Brownberry stuff, 24oz
wheat bread.  Or I'd take a good tough Jewish rye.


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