The Bread was an Odd Color

The Bread was an Odd Color

When the shop owner had, over time, begun to gather a salable inventory, the question of bread was ever a process of natural selection, on the part of the patrons, at least, if not the part of the proprietor as connoisseur.

The owner liked good bread. It made the difference in a sandwich, which could have all the makings but could be canceled by a bland or tasteless base (the bread).

It made the difference at the table.

It was worth a greater percentage of items chosen in a picnic basket.

At the top of the hill, looking out over grass blown by the moist sea wind and down to the tree fronds and the harbor, it could be counted among any spare trees under which to sit. Or the rocks. A pretty girl took no notice of it, as it made sense on an outing.

The bread types shifted on the shelves through weeks and months, the shifting ever mindful of which items made it to the front register. They came from other aficionados on the island who would venture a go at their own designs or at recipes from old worlds, assayed with the grains at hand.

The favorites surfaced: experimental mixes of grains or methods of baking, some with cheese or fruit.

One was a sort of almost baking soda-flaky kind of baguette, with a soft middle. It was popular, along with others, but the proprietor still hadn’t found any that stood out. Sure, he was one of only a few shops, but good business is good business. And so is worthy bread.

Then a batch came from a local maker: this same flaky baguette. The maker had added kelp from the sea, and deliberately, not by accident. And it was the color green.

It had the same taste, really. The same consistency. Same baking methods. But, it had something to the constitution.

It was worth taking home.

It became a local and even island favorite and one of the first items to feature in the store.

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