November 2021 South Shuswap Scoop Article
The Urban Dictionary defines breaking bread as “to affirm trust, confidence, and comfort with an individual or group of people. Breaking bread has a notation of friendliness and informality”. On our recent trip to the UK and Europe we tasted all kinds of bread and thoroughly enjoyed the feeling of trying something new that also reminded us of home. The Shuswap is nothing if not friendly and informal and it was nice to experience that feeling on our travels as well.
A few interesting observations from our trip. Bread is provided at every meal and the variety ranges from packaged breadsticks to luscious loafs. Not sure if it was covid related or not but one of our favourites was when we were served a selection of small homemade crackers and breads in individual white paper goodie bags! We even were served herbed croutons as an accompaniment to one aperitif. Breakfast bread provided variety as well. The morning ritual in London was flakey croissants and coffee from the next door Italian café and at our apartment in the Dolomites, we loved opening the door each morning to see what tasty treat the owners had left for us. We had crusty rolls, soft croissants and Krapfen which is a stuffed donut. We also discovered what I believe has replaced my love for Nutella. Pistachio crema was piped into all things Italian and it is incredible.
Fortunately for us we didn’t have to leave our love for baked goods behind. We have no shortage of wonderful bread options here in the Shuswap and as I headed to the local markets just days after returning, I went straight for our bakery artisans. Amanda owner of Forest & Food Fixation is not just a wonderful baker, she is a top forager as well. Given the season she is always making something special, and our little pumpkin loaf complete with a cinnamon stick stem was almost too cute to eat (almost). You can find her bread EcoTreats in Salmon Arm and Shuswap Health Foods. Amanda also advises that she will be at the Halloween Market at Wildcraft in Salmon Arm on October 30th with more pumpkin loafs! When visiting Amanda at the Sorrento Village Farmers Market, I ran into Chris from White Lake Organics. While not at the market this year, Chris is still baking up a storm including her amazing Bickies and Artisan breads. We love her Parma Bickies as part of charcuterie boards and I know the wineries have been selling them like crazy. You can also find Chris’s Artisan Loaves at Steamers and look for our favourite, Mediterranean Olive. All four flavours are available in the local section of most local grocers including Blind Bay Grocer (which of course has its own lovely inhouse bakery)! I think I’m going to put my Bickies in individual white paper bags from now on to remind me of our trip.
Likely one of the best known bakers in the region is Janice from Little Red Hen Artisan Bakery. We found the Hen before we even moved to the Shuswap as she sells her beautiful wood fired brick oven bread, cookies, granola and other delicious delights at Shuswap Pie Company among other locations. We have really enjoyed seeing Janice and her husband Gord (who is an amazing wood craftsman himself!) at the Downtown Salmon Arm Farmers Market and always stop in to buy something delicious from them finding it hard to decide from bagels to pastries to baguettes. Most recently, Janice is supplying a selection of baked goods to Salmon Arm’s newest butcher, Griller Meats at 520 Hudson. If you haven’t stopped in, we highly recommend you do!
Our love of great bread has also inspired Nigel to try his hand at making our own focaccia. Stay tuned for results and if it doesn’t turn out, we know there are some great local pros who can fill our need for baking!