Over a decade ago, the conversation at work turned to food, as it often does, and a friend of mine, Bruce, mentioned eating “canned bread.” Predictably, the listeners all expressed surprise, and assumed Bruce was making something up for a joke, as he was often wont to do. However, he stuck to his story, and gave a little background. He’d eaten it, he said, while working on a sailboat in the
Caribbean. They were often out to sea for long stretches, meaning fresh food was at a premium. Canned bread was one of the culinary compromises that the crew made.
Lo and behold, Bruce wasn’t lying. A short while later he brought some back for us to try. He opened up the container and gave pieces to any willing takers. I tasted some, and was pleased. It was good, in a sweet sort of way. Bruce’s honesty was validated, at least about this single issue, on this one day.
Flash forward to the present year, and I received a blast from the past while walking down the grocery aisle. There it was again. The label read, “
New England’s Finest—B&M Brown Bread—Raisin.” I bought a can and tried it once more, for I am just that conscientious a blogger about food items, and plus I was hungry.
My memory was sound. It was as good as I recalled. It’s definitely weird though—it’s almost more of a cake than a bread. The molasses, which I assume is necessary to keep it moist even in a can, leads to a distinctly sweeter taste than normal bread. The label provides several serving suggestions, many of which are average sandwiches, like peanut butter and luncheon meat. I question whether this would work out, due to the flavor of the bread and its tiny size—we’d be talking round finger sandwiches. But, to be fair, I haven’t tried it this way—I ate it plain. I regard it as a dessert, really. But I definitely do recommend it, and will certainly eat it again.
(The following paragraph is rather scatological. So skip it if you dislike this type of humor.) The only issue I have with canned bread is its name—B&M (for Burnham & Morrill). In this day and age, I think if I were a marketing executive, I would suggest they change it to M&B, or Burnham and Morrill. Also, I admit I snickered when I scanned the removal directions from the can, which read, in part, “If necessary, gently push loaf out one end with a spoon.” I know, I know, I’m very immature.