Sometimes it comes round like a ball and soft as butter. Sometimes it comes flat and crunchy. Whether filled with 'speck', spread with jam or packed with cereals and nuts, we have to admit that it is our favourite accompaniment to all sorts of dishes. We're talking about bread, of course.
Quality bread from South Tyrol
A very high value is placed on bread in a place like South Tyrol, so steeped in rural culture. Quality bread from South Tyroltherefore has to follow very strict guidelines. It may not contain less than 75% locally grown grain, which is sourced from around 50 farmers who produce an annual 350 tonnes of grain in the Pustertal, Vinschgau and Eisacktal valleys.
A number of different types of flour are mixed into South Tyrolean bread, but the main grain is rye. No preservatives or flavour enhancers are added. Natural yeast or home-made sour dough is used to make the bread rise. The latter makes the bread especially tasty and easier to digest.
The recipes behind bread from South Tyrol have been passed down from generation to generation over the centuries. Every baker has their own recipe, lending the same type of bread a different taste, depending on the bakery. The typical types of bread from South Tyrol are 'Pusterer Breatl', the 'Vinschger Paarl'and, of course, 'Schüttelbrot' . The 'Vinschger Paarl' can boast a hefty dose of fibre: 7.27 g are contained in 100 g of bread. 100 g of 'Schüttelbrot', on the other hand, contains nearly 9 g of protein!
Tracking down bread...
Grain was first grown in South Tyrol in around 4500 BC, including barley, oats and buckwheat. Even though it is the most typical grain found in South Tyrol today, rye only arrived here in 800 BC. In those days, baking bread involved a lot of work. When the farmers started up their ovens, bread had to be produced in large quantities. So it had to last a long time and was dried there and then, creating South Tyrolean 'Schüttelbrot'. These days, this crispbread were stored by farmers in lofts in its own special rack. There were even chopping boards for breaking the crispy flatbread into smaller, bite-sized pieces.
If you have worked up an appetite for bread, then ask your private landlord or landlady about their favourite bread! Maybe they still bake it themselves, or will do so again for you.