The Reason Why American Bread Doesn't Taste Like European Bread

Bread is one of the best things this world has to offer, right? Whether you prefer to slather salted butter onto freshly toasted slices, experiment with sandwiches, or hunt for the best gourmet varieties on the market, it's likely that you have your preferences set when it comes to bread. You may have also noticed that typical American bread is quite different from the kind you get in Europe, and it's easy to pinpoint the exact reason why.

A curious user on Quora once asked others to chime in and explain to them why bread tastes different in the US compared to what you would find in Europe. One astute commentator wrote, "Depends on which American bread you mean... Packaged, commercial store-bought breads are one thing but artisanal, small bakery breads are another." But what makes sliced bread in general different in the US when compared to what you'd get in Europe?

You need to watch out for preservatives in American bread

The main difference that you need to look out for when it comes to bread in the grocery store is the fact that store-bought American bread frequently comes packed with a lot of unnecessary preservatives, according to LifeSpa. This may not be the case with artisanal bread in the US, of course. In Europe, many bakeries prefer to be a little old school when it comes to making bread and don't add preservatives or additives at all. Technically, all one needs to bake bread comes down water, salt, and wheat — anything else is completely unnecessary. 

It's also worth noting that bread without any preservatives will, of course, only last for a couple of days, while the bread we usually purchase from our local supermarkets tends to last from several days up to a few weeks on account of these extra ingredients, making it much less fresh than the kind you can get at bakeries that make bread the traditional way. As the Quora commentator notes, "Sugar and preservatives never even show up in proper bread and any self-respecting baker would never allow them." Yikes! Well, there you go. We suggest sticking to your local bakery or closely reading the nutrition label if you're trying to find bread in America closer to its European counterpart.