Fresh brewers’ yeast
When I started to cook “seriously”…, making food from scratch and in big quantities, I had to begin every now and then to stock up on the essentials in my kitchen: flour, sugar, eggs, baking powder, and yeast. The fresh brewers’ yeast , is irreplaceable, a must, if you want to make an excellent bread and outstanding pizza. People tend to use the dry, granulated one, easier to find, but the fresh yeast is quite distinctive ,and has no rival. Fresh yeast is made of a single-cell organism called sacharomyces cerevisiae. This organism multiplies rapidly when fed sugar in a moist environment. The yeast is a pale beige colour and has the consistency of a crumbly, soft eraser. It has a stronger smell than the dry form and produces much better results.
I have struggled in the past to find places to buy it and should probably, have used the internet straight away to find out where to source it. I was lucky, then, when I first moved into the area where I still live now, to locate, by word of mouth, a shop – needless to say, an Italian shop – that was selling it in chunks, though not exactly on my doorstep. So every so often I had to organise a special trip just to buy yeast. Too many miles for so little!
A few weeks ago I made a major discovery, a gold mine on my doorstep, a fresh-yeast source right under my nose and I had never realised it! Since then, my life has changed! I have learned that you should never take things for granted, and should always ask..
When I go, regularly by now, to the counter to ask for my “dose” of fresh yeast, the same South American man who works at the bakery appears from a shady corner… His dark, suspicious glance, pronounced Hispanic features, serious moustache, robust arms and sharp knife all make me wonder if I have stepped into a Pablo Escobar Netflix series. When he asks me – in his strongly accented English – ‘how many grams do you need today?’, I still answer timidly! With a weak voice I say.. ‘..erm yes, – I need ONLY 10 gr today.. I’m trying to “detox” and eat less carbohydrates!’
But I have to admit: yes, I am addicted to yeast!
Certainly I can’t do without, as bread and pizza are part of my life..
But …maybe I need to contain my imagination!