Today we went shopping for a few things in town. We visited the new Waitrose, a huge superstore-type supermarket in all its pristine glory. The following conversation took place on the way home:
OH: ‘Trouble with Waitrose is that they don’t make a granary loaf.1‘
Me: ‘Are you sure? Have you asked them at the bakery? They may call it something else .. ‘
OH: ‘No, they don’t do one. They do artisan bread, though.’
OH: ‘The French bowel is good.’
Me (a tad startled by the change of subject): ‘The French bowel??’
OH: ‘Yes, you know, it’s sort of round and flat.’
OH: ‘It’s all soft and spongy when it’s fresh, but the next day it begins to go a little more solid and it really lasts well. You might like it.’
Me: ‘Uh … I might?’
OH: ‘Yes – I think it’s long fermentation. You know, it’s like a big crusty roll, sort of thing.’
Me: ‘Oh, the French boule! Cos, you know, bowels are sort of round and … uh … long, not round and flat.’
OH: ‘I wouldn’t know.’
Me: ‘You don’t know what shape a bowel is?’
OH: ‘No, and I have no wish to know!’
OH: ‘Anyway, I thought you pronounced it ‘boolay‘.’
Me: ‘No, only if there’s an accent on the end. Otherwise it’s ‘bool‘.’
OH: ‘I knew really, you know. I’m just making fun of the pronunciation.’
OH: ‘Their rustic pains are really good, too.’
Me: ‘That’s rustic ‘pan‘ with a kind of soft ‘n’, not … ‘
I caught sight of a suspicion of a smirk at the corner of his mouth.
Me: ‘Oh, never mind!’
And as usual, laughter ensued, which is good for all that ails you. Bowels or not3.
1 The thing about OH and I is that we have totally different tastes in bread. He likes horrible, squishy, doughy stuff made in the Chorleywood manner, and my digestion won’t cope with it and prefers long-fermentation bread made with a lot less yeast. I also can’t deal with malted flour, which makes me itchy. Granary loaves are full of malted flour so I don’t eat them. OH really likes them .. but not the sort which are like wholemeal bread with a few seeds stuck to the outside. Those aren’t ‘real’ granary bread.
2 What supermarkets call ‘long fermentation’ isn’t really very long at all. Anything over one hour is ‘long fermentation’ to them, but true long fermentation is somewhere around 12 hours and can be even longer. This improves digestibility, and raises the bread’s glycaemic index. All good, huh?
3 OK, I concede that in some specialised cases, laughter might not, in fact, be good for the bowels.