Saturday, August 25, 2012

Bread Lines

photo by Matt Degraff

photo by Matt Degreff

I owe a bunch of my friends an apology. They warn me that with the way that things are going, I shouldn't be surprised if people end up in bread lines again. I argue with them, hoping that things will not deteriorate so badly, but alas, they are right -- sort of.

Much to my surprise, I have seen this happen repeatedly at the Green Market in Pinecrest. For the last several months people have lined up patiently waiting for their bread. In a time where people fight desperately to claim and gain the status of victim, this is the ultimate irony: the bread is organic and the people lined up are from the -- forgive me -- upper crust. The cause of all this misery is a young fellow known as Zak the Baker.

There seem to be no breadlines for the privileged that I can recall, but Zak the Baker causes a ruckus among the gifted at this Farmer's Market. Every Sunday morning, a line begins forming before 9:30 near the caramel corn stand. One of Zak's apprentices cuts a loaf which, immediately after sampling, creates a sort of mysterious instant addiction, especially for those patrons who have ever visited Europe. Clearly, Zak is harming the community by offering addictive sourdough breads baked under the cover of darkness in a secret location somewhere west of US 1. He is an artisan, but witness the lines, and you make think he is a magician, shaman, or charlatan. 

Zak hypnotizes those who queue up by playing jazz on a little throwback phonograph. The daily offerings -- olive and za'ater, cranberry walnut, multigrain, and whole wheat -- are thoughfully carefully wrapped in plain brown paper. Returnees to the line looked hopelessly hooked and spaced out in the moist summer steam -- give us today our daily bread they seem to say.

Zak the Baker’s website ( is a thing of beauty. Frankly, the video made by Matt Degreff is medal-worthy. With all the, forgive me, cheesy crap that passes us posing as art, these few minutes are aesthetic and inspiring. What you hear and see makes you feel, and what you feel makes you want to eat. It defines perfectly what Zak is doing, and it seems, what he is thinking. Please let me in on the longer length documentary, brothers! 

If you want go to the Green Market and avoid the bread lines because you somehow have come to feel guilty about the economics in America which now makes the wealthy have to stand in the sun just to get their favorite staple ingredient, the good news is that Zak is sold out, wrapped up, and on the road before your teenaged kids wake up. 

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