FREE FOOD! I exclaim, as once again I am presented with a culinary treat to sample and critique. This time my culinary nemesis Malcolm has presented me with a loaf of what he calls, cheesy bread.
At once I have my suspicions, this is a man of adventuresome tastes who in the past has shared his stock of chocolate covered scorpions, water bugs and ants. He has promised there are no bugs incorporated in this treat.
For bread, it is incredibly heavy. While not the density of lead, it could theoretically contain metal items. A prison escape kit perhaps? Mayhaps a file, mallet and small crowbar for the removal of sturdy bars. Or it just could be a very dense loaf of bread.
Slicing into it I find nothing inedible within. Alas, Malcolm has revielded himself to be a kindly yet law abiding citizen willing to bake a nutritious snack, but unwilling to engineer a jail break.
My first observation of the slice reveals the secret of the bread’s density. While most bread contains a multitude of tiny bubbles that would inspire Dean Martin to song, this loaf is compressed. The few sturdy air pockets quivering in strain under the crushing weight of the ingredients pressing in on them from all sides.
it appears he had created the meal cube of science fiction. An entire nutritious meal contained in a pocket size cube that if expanded to the consistancy of a regular load of bread would overflow the room.
The aroma wafting from the loaf certainly speaks of cheese. Even hours after its completion, the aroma of fresh baked goodness tickles the nostril. A first bite and the somewhat doughy mouthful fills the palate with a mild cheddar flavour with a hint of Monterey Jack. Another bite is chewed while butter is spread over the rest of the slice. Is it getting warm in here?
A bite of the buttered slice, the rich flavour is becoming more intense, and yes, it is definitely getting warmer in my mouth.
I slide the buttered slice into the microwave to melt the butter. Once again the structural integrity on the bread proves itself, as the melted butter rolls off its surface like rain water on a tin roof. The minute amount of butter that was able to penetrate casts a golden glow over the next few bites of warm bread. Another few bites of the tasty treat reviews the melted butter has not altered the flavour in any noticeable way. Except it seems each bite is warmer then before, and the heated butter is not the source, it’s the bread itself.
There is a distinct heat building in my mouth. I hold the bread close to my nose and under the cheese flavour I detect something else, I am not immediately sure what it is but at this close range I can clearly identify the red and green flecks that decorate the loaf. It’s peppers, then the underlying flavour becomes clear. Jalipino!
Malcolm has introduced hot peppers to his bread and they have taken to it like Kubla Kahn to the plains. Like a horde of fiery horses ridden by an army of heated warriors, the peppers have swept over the bread and created a picant empire that now seeks to invade my mouth over the Great Wall of teeth that guard its entrance. Just like that thundering horde, the jalipinos began as a faint rumble over the horizon building in crescendo till it is too late and the slowly building heat is now unstoppable as it sweeps into the village of tastebuds and begins to rampage across my tongue.
With little choice left in the matter I surrender to the pepper infused invaders and continue to consume my bread. Bite after bite, raising the heat, but never to an unbearable level. In time I acclimatize to this new sensation and begin to enjoy the heat. More a charming hearth fire keeping the cold at bay, then a rampaging inferno consuming everything in its path. The cheese flavour is never overpowered and eventually settles down to a rich Monterey Jack cheese flavour.
Toasted. Now this is a treat. Toasting a slice turns it into a single slice grilled cheese sandwich. Delicious and how I will consume the rest of the loaf.
The density of the bread, that could be engineered into construction material or used to prop up a corner of a couch is filling, both in taste and quantity and after a single slice I find myself full. Replacing the cap over the bread to keep it fresh, I leave it out for Luz, my wife to discover the Jalipino flavour herself. There’s no point in warning her, and hot food is her passion.
Even so, this loaf is so filling, I expect it will take several days to consume, but those days will be enjoyable now that we know what we are in for.
All in all a plesant and unique creation by Malcolm, barbarian horde master of the kitchen.