Why does everyone hate the heel of bread?

There is a vile act of discrimination that takes place in kitchens across the nation. Every day, thousands of heels on thousands of loaves of bread are passed over for their less crusty counterparts. Some heels are thrown away. Others face a much worse fate of being left on the counter to go stale. 

Why does our society insist on ostracizing a viable part of one of our staple foods? 

The heel is edible, people!

Sure, it has more crust and less of the “bready” part of the bread. Sure, it never seems to fit quite right on the other pieces. But isn’t that how we all are sometimes? A little crusty, a little different, and not quite fitting the mold? 

How is the heel any different than a bun? We don’t discard the tops of buns. Submarine sandwiches are a thing and those are just one giant heel. 

And there are very practical reasons for eating the heel; the most important reason being hygiene. It drives me nuts when people don’t take the heel off the top. I kind of feel like the top piece of bread should be taken because it seems like poor form (and a bit disgusting) to dig through the bread bag. I’m assuming that everyone washes their hands before meal prep, but maybe not. So I run the risk of  getting a piece of bread that someone’s pee-pee hands has touched because our society hates the heel. Gross.  

It is also annoying because the bread is being taken out of sequence. Bread wouldn’t come in a tight little bag if the pieces were meant to be taken from the middle. Taking bread from the middle of the loaf and leaving the heel on top  gives me the same awful feeling that happens when one of the slats of a window blind is turned the wrong way. 

The heel is just as important as any other slice in a loaf of bread and doesn’t deserve to be passed over. Stop the hate. 

Do you eat the heel? Why or why not? 

Posted by The Armchair Commentary

8 Comments

  1. I never minded eating the heel…dunno what people have against it. *shrug*

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  2. Heels of bread are where croutons are born.

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    1. This is true! And we shouldn’t despise croutons. But there is so much more to the heel. The heel is the true Wonderbread.

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      1. Ugh. I was with you up until the Wonder part. Memories of glue-like balls of pseudo-dough from the 70s. *shudder*

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      2. I remember eating wonder bread as a kid/teen in the 90s-00s, but I can’t remember what it tastes like. I think my mom bought it for awhile because of it’s supposed health benefits. Same with Iron Kids Bread.

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      3. We never had it, I could only get it at other kid’s houses but the first thing they always did with it was mash it together and roll it into Play-Doh-like balls before eating it.

        Any bread that reverts back to dough at the slightest touch is not to be trusted.

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  3. Isn’t it because if you remove the heel of the bread, the piece at the end becomes tougher than the others… and not as pleasurable to eat. So, if you leave the heel, it’s the only part that will get “tough” or “crusty” and it just makes sense to not eat it at that point. Unless… you toast it. Which, I don’t know why most people don’t just toast them.

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    1. I didn’t know that was a thing. We always just ate the top piece when I was growing up. I remember my mom and my grandma both being annoyed at people who rifled through the bread.

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