Origins of "Italian Bread" (supermarket loaf)
If any old-timers (oppure italiani, supponendo che sia possibible che ci si troveva italiani sul questo sito) can help me out here, I'm on a quest for the origins of what many Americans call "Italian bread" - think Wonderbread. Like the cappuccino, it must have started out as a genuine Italian drink, then been changed bit by bit until it became a much fluffier, less healthy version of what it was. And if you go back in time only a few decades to what I guess you could say were "old-school bakeries", there were still pretty high-quality breads in this style that weren't pullman (sandwich) loaves. The original bread they were based on is eluding me. There seems to be only one distinct universal feature to clue us in; a single slit all the way down the loaf, creating the "grin" or bloom. Can anyone think of an Italian loaf with this slit, or imagine what the first "Italian" loaves sold in America would have been based off of?