Cornbread is not very common in Europe, so I haven’t come across it much in my life. Indeed, even though I’ve been living in Canada for over a decade, I had never eaten it until recently. There are some foods that simply don’t register on my radar: I’m vaguely aware of their existence, but I never seem to get around to trying them.
Still, when I saw a recipe for cornbread in The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, and read that, even though Peter Reinhart had originally meant to only write about leavened breads, he couldn’t resist including this one, I knew I had to try it. Buttermilk, corn, and bacon: how could this not taste good?
Since this was my very first time eating cornbread (not to mention making it), I can’t compare this one to anything else. All I’ll say is that it was indeed very satisfying, a lovely companion to carrot or butternut squash soup. The kernels of corn popped satisfyingly under the tooth, and the crunchy bacon added an essential saltiness. Despite the bacon, I was surprised at how sweet the bread. I don’t know if all cornbreads are this heavy on the honey (there was quite a bit of it here), but I wonder if I wouldn’t prefer something closer to a savoury bread. It’s worth a try, at any rate.
Nonetheless, I do declare, cornbread is a very good North American invention!