When coming up with this week’s Battle of the Dishes, we thought, let’s take this battle beyond the same old taste test and make it a bona fide battle. As in, let’s FIGHT. It was Breaking Bread Week here at Fork in the Road, so obviously what better tool for jousting than a baguette, no? Just like a sword, only blunt and filled with carbs! We happened to be near Bleecker Street, home to many bakeries, so we stepped into Amy’s Bread for a loaf, then made our way to the nearby Blue Ribbon Bakery’s market on Bedford Street and scooped up one of theirs. Both are known as tasty specimens, but which would you be rather carrying if a mugger approached you and you had to defend yourself?
Amy’s baguette, priced at $2.45, was long and slender, with a nice, slightly crisp crust. The one from Blue Ribbon Bakery, meanwhile, was $3.25 and shorter, but also significantly thicker. Sparring took place in the jousting arena, otherwise known as my living room, with myself and a friend whacking the baguettes as hard as possible against each other. The loser would be the one whose baguette broke first.
After a couple minutes of faux fencing and some actual whacking of our baguettes (which, perhaps unsurprisingly, led to crumbs and flour being dispersed throughout the air), this happened:
Amy’s baguette had broken, meaning that Blue Ribbon Bakery’s emerged victorious.
Perhaps this wasn’t a totally fair fight, since it makes theoretical sense that short and fat can beat long and skinny due to more surface area. But after sampling the remains of both breads, we’re happy to report that this battle can really be considered more of a tie. A blind taste test among both fighting participants and a witness concluded that Amy’s actually offered a tastier baguette. While Blue Ribbon’s tasted floury and a little dry, Amy’s had a nice chew and better taste overall.
Conclusion: If you’re attacked on the street, hopefully you’ve bought your bread at Blue Ribbon Bakery. But if you just want some starch with your dinner, go to Amy’s Bread.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on August 11, 2011