Why is it so freaking magical to eat a slice of crusty bread topped with a killer jam? Maybe it's because most toast and jam we're offered in restaurants is treated as cheap commodities, made of low-grade ingredients and delivered hostilely to the table in a cold basket. And maybe it's because most loaves of bread sold at the grocery store are squishy loaves of immortal sandwich bread that toast evenly into a scratchy square of monotony. So when we do happen upon a fresh loaf of artisan bread that was sliced by hand and a jar of fresh jam we get weak in the knees.
What makes a winning toast with jam are the following characteristics:
1. INGREDIENTS. Look at that label on your loaf of bread. A good loaf will not contain high fructose corn syrup or other shelf-stabilizers. Bread is meant to get moldy. Get over it. Stop buying bread that is meant to withstand nuclear fall-outs. Same goes for the jam.
2 TEXTURE. Good bread has a crisp crust and soft interior. It is sold in a loaf that you cut with a knife. The serrated edge of the knife cuts nifty grooves into the surface of the slices making the toasting surface dynamic resulting in a mix of textures. The jam should have recognizable pieces of fruit in it. Jelly is not jam.
3. TEMPERATURE. Cold toast sucks. Eat the bread as soon as it pops out of the toaster. As for the jam, room temperature or a little cooler is dandy. Ice cold jam is a little unnatural, but to each his own...
That's it. Get the above three simple rules down and you've got magic.
Unless you're Celiac like me and can't eat gluten. Gluten is the protein in wheat that gives bread that elasticity, that chew on the inside of a crispy crust. Without a good piece of bread to work with, what's the point in eating the jam? OH WAIT... never mind. We've got Mariposa Baking Co.!
Mariposa is a dedicated gluten-free baking company in the San Francisco Bay Area. Their products brought back the magic of eating baked goods in ways I didn't know possible. Seriously.
Mariposa makes, among many other amazing things, this perfectly crusty-on-the-outside-and-soft-on-the-inside gluten free, vegan bread. This bread makes amazing toast. I can't praise its awesomeness enough. It really is AMAZING TOAST. Now for AMAZING TOAST's brunch date:
My jam choice is a no-brainer. Well, the brand of jam is a no-brainer. The flavor choice is super difficult because I love them all.
INNAjam outshines the competition. Literally. The jam is vibrant because all of the organic fruit is picked hyper-locally and jarred seasonally with minimal sweeteners.
Okay so besides making outstanding bread and jam, Mariposa Baking Co. and INNAjam are outstanding generally for their green business models. Both companies keep ingredient quality, sustainability and carbon footprint in the forefront of decision making. Mariposa has been labeled a Greenopia Distinguished Business and INNAjam uses a specially constructed bicycle to haul ingredients and even deliver jars of jam locally. It DOES NOT get any greener than that.
And what did Goose think of INNAjam on Mariposa bread?
She killed it. I had to pry the last bits out of her gummy little hands while she squealed for more.
That's my girl.