If you’ve been on Facebook lately, there’s a good chance you’re read or even shared a post about choosing the freshest bread in the store by looking at the color of the bread ties. If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, it goes a little something like this:
Ever wonder what the colors of the tie tags on loaves of bread represent? They’re a code designating the day of the week on which a loaf was baked:
According to this popular belief, if you want the freshest bread in the store, you should buy the bread with the colored tag associated with the day you’re shopping. For instance, if you were shopping on a Monday, you would choose a loaf of bread with a blue bread tag or tie. If you’re shopping on a day not listed above, presumably because bread is not delivered on those days, you’ll want to buy bread with the colored tag from the previous day. For instance, if you’re shopping on Wednesday, you would choose a loaf of bread with a green tag.
Sounds easy, no? Almost too easy…
Well, it just might be too easy!
While it would be nice to be able to pick up the freshest bread on the store shelf just by looking at the color of the tag, this bread tie code may not always be accurate. While some bakeries actually do use different colored bread ties on loaves of bread baked on different days, not all do. Those that do use a color coding system may not use the wildly popular code that you see above.
Apparently, each bakery has their own code, so the bread with the red tag that you’re sure is the freshest bread in the store because it was baked today may, in fact, have been baked yesterday or even a week ago. In fact, some bakeries don’t use different colored bread ties to signify what day the bread was baked, but what day it was put on the shelf. Other companies don’t use a color coding system at all.
So, can you safely rely on the color of the bread ties to ensure that you get the freshest bread? Maybe, but the only way to be certain would be to contact the bakery directly and ask them to help you decode their code.
A better way to ensure that you get the freshest bread is simply to look at the bread tag, but not just for the color. Many bakeries imprint a freshness date on the plastic tags of their loaves of bread. If you’re buying bread with a wire twist tie or there is no date printed on the tag, look for the date on the bag itself. It will usually be lightly sprayed on the side or top of the bag. Instead of relying on the bread tag colors, your best bet for getting the freshest bread is to purchase a loaf with a freshness date the farthest away from the day you’re buying it.