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We've all brought home a nice, soft, fresh loaf of bread only to discover — d'ough! — that it's a little past its sell-by date.
But guess what? Turns out your loaves are trying to tell you something ... and the message is in the twist ties.
Yep! The colorful twist ties that keep our bread fresh and protected from store to sandwich actually have a hidden secret. As it turns out, each color means the bread was baked on a particular day of the week:
And you are correct: It does skip Wednesday and Sunday, in order to give bakers two days off each week.
This is not entirely new: The information has been circulating on the internet for years, but a recent post from Tasting Table has made it go viral again.
And bear in mind that not all bread companies adhere to this rule; some use bread tags that are all one color regardless of date of baking. If that happens, though, you're not toast — just remember that the date on the tag is the sell-by date, not the date it was actually baked.
So what does this mean for you, the savvy sandwich shopper? Basically, buy the bread that was baked the day before you're in the store. So if you're going to the grocery on Friday, get the red twist tag, for example. Think you'll have a hard time remembering? The colors go in alphabetical order.
For what it's worth, this particular secret isn't really meant for average shoppers; it's designed to help store clerks with restocking. "Shoppers should never encounter more than two colors of tags on the shelf at any time for any one brand of bread," notes Barbara Mikkelson on the Snopes page about playing tag.
She also suggests that while this is amusing tidbit of information to have, it's not hugely useful since stores restock regularly: "Even without knowing the code, your friends and family are never going to get a stale loaf."
And knowing that is truly a slice of heaven!
Follow Randee Dawn on Twitter.