Friday, March 20, 2009

Carb Addicts Anonymous and Talkie Toasters, or: I love the smell of Flute Baguette in the morning

Hello, my name is Miss T and I am a carb addict.

Protein does nothing for me; sugar does not sweeten my days. Fat makes me feel oily and fruit makes me feel empty and cheated. But straight-out down-low processed-refined-white-food carbs - that's me baby!

I've always been a starchy carbohydrate kind of a girl. Bread, cereal and pasta are my staples, and I just don't feel satiated if I don't get enough. A meal without carbs is a meal that I feel very, very resentful about.

And while for a quick mid-week dinner the home brand dried pasta is not, cent for cent, noticebly different from the higher end brands, anyone who's bitten into a slice of bread that collapses like air will know that good bread is, withouth any shadow of a doubt, the staff of life.

I've long been a fan of Laurent Bakeries' flute baguette - a teary chewy crust with soft but thick inside - flat enough to lay fillings on and long enough to last a few meals (or one afternoon on a bad day). Brilliant when dunked in soups, better with Nuttelex, perfect when stuffed with Tofutti Cream Cheese, avocado and cucumber (thanks for that one Lisa!).

Unfortunately, I had to go cold turkey, and let me assure you that there's no greater grumpy cranky Miss T than one denied her daily carbs. I'll let my letter of complaint below tell the story:


I'm writing this email directly as twice I have tried to send it via the 'contact us' section of the Laurent website and both times I received 'message could not be sent' messages.

I wanted to let you know about a very disappointing event that occurred recently. Some time ago I enquired at a Laurent store about which breads contained dairy or egg products. As a vegan, I don't consume these and know that many breads contain milk solids or the like. The Laurent staff member who I asked checked the ingredient list and assured me that the Flute Baguette, which I was specifically enquiring about, was dairy and egg-free. I therefore continued to buy this item.

Recently I enquired again at the Ivanhoe store, just wanting to confirm. The staff member there told me that all Laurent breads contained dairy or egg- even the Flute Baguette. He was completely certain about this.

This was obviously very surprising and worrying. I had been buying baguettes on the assurance of another staff member that they were suitable for me to eat, and I'm sure that at the time I first enquired, the staff member even checked the product listing for me. To find out later that the product was definitely not vegan was very distressing.

May I suggest that review your product listings and update staff accordingly. Although distressing and aggravating to me, such a confusion could result in serious medical reactions in people with allergies.


Rachel Templeman

What's a girl to do? Suffer without her favourite? Like Red Dwarf's Talkie Toaster, I had no raison d'etre. Luckily I had raisin toast.

Here's the edifying response I received today:

Hi Rachel,

Thank you for your email below in regards to the different information you have received when inquiring the ingredients of our bread products, I am very disappointed to see that the information you have been given was incorrect and can understand your frustration.

When we have any customers enquiring regarding ingredient listing all staff are trained to direct all enquires to the retail specification folder to ensure that any allergies and food intolerances are adhered by. In the instance of your first visit, the staff member was correct to do this and to advise you correctly. At the Ivanhoe store, this procedure was not followed and why your enquiry was misled.

I have checked the product manual myself and the only bread products that contain egg or milk powder are:

Brioche loaf

Pain de Mie

Raisin bread

All other laurent bread is free from these ingredients.

I have also forwarded a copy of your email to all our retail stores to make them aware of the importance of using this product folder for all enquires

I do apologise for the miss communication and I hope that you will continue to purchase our bread in the future.

Many thanks


Renae Borger

Retail Operations Manager

Laurent Bakery Pty Ltd

ph: 0423 291 151

(I note that when a copy of my email was sent to all stores, it apparently included my name).

In any case, my jones is over and I will be inhaling carbo-loading shortly.


Anonymous said...

oh thank goodness!

I was very worried for a min there and thinking I'd been doing the same thing- I hate the uncertainty of dairy in bread products or pasta. Getting different answers at different stores luckily has never happened to me though.

and you're right that loaf is perfect with soup- it's almost perfect veggie soup season (autumn/winter) and that's when I want my bread for dunking!!


Miss T said...

I'm glad someone else shares my particular obsession Fi! I'm also very fond of the flute baguette with lpain ol' nuttelex and vegemite - or just heated with nuttelex melting in the microwave.. oh must stop!

I'm Philippa O said...

that's good that you know for certain. where are these bakeries! the bread sounds divine!

Anonymous said...