New England’s Five Most Popular Breads
I am a bread addict. There is nothing like warm bread served fresh with soft, creamy butter. Except perhaps ice cream, but that's a whole separate article.
The first account of bread in America dates back to 1492. Saveur.com says, "Legend has it Christopher Columbus brings a small crock of sourdough starter to the New World." The site says, "Unleavened breads made from cornmeal, however, go on to be the first breads embraced by European settlers in the Americas."
Saveur.com further states, "In 1602, eighteen years before the arrival of the Mayflower, British sea captain Bartholomew Gosnold (discoverer of New Bedford) plans the country's first wheat crop in Massachusetts." According to the site, "Within a century, amber waves of grain grow from Maryland to New England."
We've been baking bread ever since.
Because of the influx over the years of folks from around the globe, there are many different cultures between the Atlantic and Pacific, and each brings its own bread to the table.
My Polish grandmother introduced me to dark rye bread as a kid. My Irish relatives introduced Irish soda bread to my diet. Being from New Bedford it's hard to avoid Portuguese pops.
The five most popular breads in New England, according to Taste Atlas.com, include scali bread, said to be a "staple in Boston-area supermarkets and bakeries." The site says scali bread is "shiny, mahogany-brown in color, braided, and coated with lots of sesame seeds which give it a nutty flavor and a nice visual appearance."
The bukie roll is a sandwich bun "that is commonly found throughout New England." The bulkie roll is characterized by its "petaled, rose-shaped design."
Anadama bread "is a yeast bread made with butter, cornmeal, molasses, and either wheat flour or rye flour." Its origins can be traced back to Rockport, Massachusetts.
The Parker House roll was "invented by the Parker House Hotel (Boston) in the 1870s," and is a "butter-rich, soft and delicate bread roll that is tender on the inside and crisp on the outside."
The Johnny Cake is a "cornmeal flatbread, similar to a pancake, consisting of fried cornmeal, salt, and hot water or milk." While invented in Rhode Island, Johnny Cakes was well-loved throughout Southern New England, including New Bedford (home of Johnny Cake Hill), and in Westport, where they were paired with eels.