by John Melngailis
Hello Black Rooster Fans,
Today we are launching our Black Rooster blog. My name is Michaele Weissman.
I am the person who will be blogging. I landed this job because I am a food writer and because I sleep with the boss. John Melngailis, our little company’s founding visionary, is my husband.
If you have met John at one of the scores of bread demonstrations he has done in the last few months at Fairway and Whole Foods in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Westchester and on Long Island, you know how passionate he is about 100 percent sour dough rye. He loves talking about this dense, flavorful bread. He loves sharing its yummy, earthy taste with rye bread aficionados and with those who are unfamiliar with the wonders of Baltic-style rye. He happily stands for hours handing out samples topped with butter and other good things–children love it with butter and honey.
John believes in rye bread the way Alice Waters believes in locally raised produce. His passion is part culinary, part health-related, and, in the largest sense, part political.
He believes all Americans deserve to eat food that is tasty and healthful—when he really gets going he’ll tell you rye bread prevents obesity and diabetes and even crooked teeth. (And it’s true: diets rich in fiber and complex carbohydrates are associated with healthy body weight and lower risks of heart disease and diabetes. And as for the teeth, well, there is reason to believe that kids who eat toothsome foods—foods like rye bread that fight back when you bite down—are less likely to need braces.)
It’s not just John who hands out bread samples. Other members of our family, including me, have been known to stand in front of a table, chatting up customers, handing out free nibbles of Black Rooster’s 100 percent sour dough rye. What’s been amazing to all of us is the number of New Yorkers who share our passion. A few months back, shortly after our launch, I was handing out samples at the Fairway on Broadway and 73rd. A customer was so overcome with gratitude that he could once again buy old world rye bread in New York City, that he kissed the lapel of my jacket—his response was a bit over the top, but I got the message:
New York City is welcoming Black Rooster Baltic Rye to town…