Good news, bread and bargain lovers. A few weeks ago, on a trip to MacPherson's Fruit & Produce, Beacon Hill's beloved discount food market, I noticed a new rack filled with artisan breads. Along with their large selection of fruits and vegetables (including a fair amount of organics), MacPherson's has always stocked groceries like tortillas, dried beans, cous cous, and an assortment of ethnic ingredients, but the bread was definitely new. I wondered if it was a one-time thing, so I picked up a loaf Pugliese and took it home. It was as good as anything I'd pick up at the co-op (nice and chewy, with a fairly crisp crust), just with a shorter window of time before it turned hard.
On my next trip to MacPherson's, the rack of bread was still there, this time with even more items. I also noticed something I hadn't before--a menu of the different breads listing their names and ingredients, along with a note that all the breads are certified organic. The names of these breads seemed awfully familiar--Columbia, Fremont, Sweet Perrin, Rosemary Diamante--so I snapped a picture of the list (apologies for the poor quality shot) and did a little research.
While the MacPherson's menu doesn't list the bakery from which the bread originates, I've determined that the breads come from Essential Baking Company. The menus are identical, right down to the Pain du George, named after Essential founder George DePasquale.
This is exactly the sort of grocery discovery that absolutely thrills me: high quality, organic items from a local place made available to a broader range of people at a good price. The bread may be a few days old, but there's no reason why it should go to waste.