Thursday, April 9, 2009

Bread Country

I have always been a fan of home made bread. Toasted, slathered with butter and jam -- it just doesn't get any better. Or so I thought until I tasted the bread from the Downtown Bakery and Creamery in Healdsburg, CA. I ripped off a piece of the loaf that I bought, and thought,"this could be dangerous." We ate it so fast I didn't have time to photograph it. The doughy texture, combined with the exact amount of crunchy crust made me want to work at the bakery just so I could eat it for free. As I licked the last crumbs from my fingers, I thought that this region of CA might just have to change its name.

I read an article that referred to the town of Healdsburg as "the Tuscany of California", so of course we had to see for ourselves. I have not yet traveled to Tuscany, but this part of the state is truly beautiful. Row upon row of tidy grapevines cover the green (at least during the rainy season), rolling hills. And the wineries are in abudance, up and down the Russian River Valley. We made many stops, tasting different varieties. It is amazing how different wines taste, depending on where the grapes are grown, the type of soil, how much sun they receive, and the types of barrels used.

We finally turned homeward, already missing the landscape and wine. Life is good in bread country.

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