Natural grocer Whole Foods introduced a $35 loaf of bread today.
The 100% Organic Sprouted Grain Kalamata Caciocavallo Pain de Campagne with White Truffle Oil began selling this morning in select locations in New York and Los Angeles, and is believed to be the most expensive loaf of bread ever sold by a mainstream food retailer.
Despite its price the bread has been met with high demand from the store's well-heeled consumers, who finally have a stylish, trendy new way to spend more than necessary on this basic foodstuff.
"I was actually off carbohydrates entirely until this new bread came out," says Marcus Duprey, a 33-year-old trust fund recipient and aspiring indie musician. "It's so European you know? Like authentic and everything. How can I not pass that up?
"Plus it's gluten free! Gluten is so terrible for you, it's like the new carbs. I figure if I eat this everyday I'll probably live almost forever. You can't put a price on that."
Our Daily Bread
Whole Foods' latest offering is made with a blend of quinoa and brown rice flours mixed with sprouted lentils. It adds kalamata olives and a non-dairy vegan version of Caciocavallo cheese, an expensive delicacy from southern Italy. It is baked with cruelty-free yeast, topped with white truffle oil, and then layered with vark - an edible Indian foil made from pure silver.
The ultra-premium bread is a creation of Rusty Daughter Bakeries of Vermont, which according to its website is North America's "premier fabricationeur of fine European baked goods."
Jason Wright, a former vintage clothing store owner and current CEO of Rusty Daughter, says he's thrilled by the response the Kalamata Caciovavallo has gotten so far.
"You know this bread's not for everybody," Wright admits. "If you're the kind of person who just like doesn't care where your yeast comes from and are totally okay with corporations mistreating them, then I guess our bread isn't for you.
"But if you're someone who cares about like the environment and nature and your body and the ozone layer and stuff, then you want to get all your bread from Rusty Daughter.
"Right now we're working on a Pistachio Sourdough with Fresh Saffron, A Rustic Rye baked with Sturgeon Caviar, and a Buckwheat Classic Baguette with Goji Berries.
"Goji berries, they pretty much prevent heart attacks, strokes, cancer, Alzheimer's disease, malaria, tuberculosis - just about everything."
Sherry Anderson, a spokeswoman for Whole Foods, declined to confirm the bakery's health claims, but did say the company was excited to have Rusty Daughter's products on the shelves.
"We're just a middleman," she explains. "It's not something I would buy, but we have a responsibility to our shareholders to extract the maximum amount of profit from our customers' stupidity.
"And $35 loaves of bread make that possible."