Few foodstuffs are as deeply ingrained in our imaginations, our ritual and our familial traditions as bread.
Look to words like "companion" which has bread squarely in the middle ("pan"), and look to the fact that bread is a carby cornerstone, in some form, of pretty much every culture on the planet.
It seems, then, that a bread festival, in a major city, would be as logical as butter on toast, and yet The Los Angeles Bread Festival, which gets baking at Grand Central Market over the first weekend in June, is billed as the city's first-ever.
What to do, where to go and what to see
If you've been shooing bread baskets away for most of your adult life, cease the shooing on Saturday, June 6 and Sunday, June 7. Commit to the crust, for an hour or two, as you bite into the creations made by the flour-covered leaders of the "Southern California artisan bread renaissance."
Honest, is there a dine-out item that is more controversial, and yet anticipated, than the humble bread basket? Theorize with your friends about why this is as you gnaw on the crusty, yeasty, zucchini- or olive-studded loaves from some of the region's top craft bakers.
Grand Central Market creative director Joseph Shuldiner is "curating" the carbestival — that's a carb festival, natch — which will consider "the many flavors of LA bread." There shall be workshops, there shall be panels, there shall be demos. Tortilla-making and sourdough-starting shall be on the table, literally, if you're keen to get inside those topics.
And, wait for it: Butter Aerobics, the churning of butter through exercise, will make a charming cameo. Better wear your stretchy terry cloth headband for this one.
Breads from various Market eateries, from hearth-baked loaves to flatbreads to cornbreads, will be what attendees'll nosh on, in addition to baguettes and more from Grist & Toll, Spread the Love, and other visiting outfits who will set up shop in the downtown public market during the weekend.
The aromatic event is free, but show with cash, because, yeah, you'll want Grand Central grub, we're guessing.
And while you and your companions — you knew that word would come back around — are quibbling over why bread baskets engender such passion, on both sides of the issue, best figure out this: Is butter or oil better on a thick slab of country bread?
Ohhh boy. That's really sticking the butter knife into the middle of a tetchy subject. It's almost like saying that classic spongy white bread isn't best for a bologna-and-mustard sandwich. Which everyone knows that it is, without argument, end of story, good day to you.