Stu Helm: Food Fan
Stu Helm: Food Fan
Episode 110: Bread Connections

Episode 110: Bread Connections

Bread, Pizza, Tacos, & Feeding the Hungry in Western North Carolina

TODAY’S PODCAST was originally broadcast by WPVM 103.7fm on Friday, April 21, 2023, and features an interview with Flori Pate and Marisha MacMorran from Food Connection, as well as an in-the-field recording of a massive bread tasting that I did with David Brown (from Doc Brown’s BBQ) and Chef Matty Sondqvist at Sisu Bread in Candler. Then, at the very end, Drew Peterson from Asheville Pizza South stops by with another crazy pizza of the month!

The newsletter below features the pizza, plus a taco, and lot of words about and pictures of bread. I can not tell you how dang good this bread is. Order some on line and go get it. You won’t be sad.

SISU BREAD: I recently posted some pictures on Instagram of a bunch of amazing pastries from Sisu Bread. Massive European-style butter croissants & chocolate croissants, enormous cheese danish filled with loads of sweet, light cream cheese, and some very large, doughy, and delicious Nordic cinnamon rolls. They were insanely good, and hand-made with love by Chef Matty Sundqvist in his home-bakery way out west, in Candler, NC.

The pastries are just a fraction of what Sisu offers, and you can see the entire menu of pastries and breads, and place a pre-order from the website for pick-up only.

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Chef Sondqvist is a very passionate baker, who is super enthusiastic about his own products, and is really into his chosen profession! He smiled wide when talking about his breads, closed his eyes when he breathed in their aroma, and was especially proud of one loaf called Finnish Pulla, which is a mildly sweet, subtly cardamom flavored, braided bread, topped with pearl sugar. I tried it of course, and it was great! Definitely one of my favorites from the line-up, along with the Castelvetrano olive bread.

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The whole reason I even found out about Sisu Bread is because my friend David Brown from Doc Brown’s BBQ is a huge fan of bread in general and of Sisu Bread in particular, so he came a grabbed me up one day, took me out to Candler, introduced me to Chef Matty, and then, boy howdy, we ate a whole lotta great bread! All different kinds, including the above mentioned pulla and olive bread, along with ciabatta, baguette, classic sourdough, German rye, Asiago cheese sourdough (my favorite!), crusty potato, peasant whole wheat, & multi-grain!

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Chef Matty sent me home with a metric ton of this bread, and I ate the shit out of it, gave some to my mom, froze a bunch to eat later, and pretty much feasted on the best bread ever for weeks.

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Again, you can order bread from to pick up from Chef Matty’s home-bakery in Candler. He’s super nice, full of love for his own products, and fun to talk to! If you go, tell him Stu says hi!

THE PIZZA GUY IS HERE! Good gahd, y’all. Another amazing specialty pie from mad pizza genius, Chef Drew Peterson of Asheville Pizza South. This one is vegetarian, FYI, so all eaters are welcome to try it. It was the pizza of the month for the rest of April, so it’s already sailed, but be sure to check out Drew’s Pizza of the Month every month on his Facebook Page.

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This pizza was completely different than any pizza I’ve ever had, and it was super delish. I shared it with my sister and she was equally impressed. I’ll let Drew describe it:

“Falafel gyro Pizza - We start with a Greek Seasoned Tahini and extra virgin olive oil base. Then pile on some peppers and onions. House made fried falafel after that. Sprinkle on some feta cheese. After the oven, it gets diced grape tomatoes and cucumbers and a Tzatziki swirl.”

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I thought the onions and peppers would be too much for me, but they were not! There’s just so much flavor going on in general, that they are not overbearing. Drew is a mad pizza genius in my opinion, and I recommend his pies, whether traditional or specialty, very much!

WHITE DUCK TACO: Behold the Zorba! It’s the final taco in my journey through White Duck Taco’s entire taco menu! It’s house-made falafel, lettuce, tomato, tzatziki, & feta, and it was super tasty!

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The manager of the Downtown location, Nikki, challenged me to eat ‘em all, and I sure did! Banh Mi Tofu, Black Bean, Jerk Chicken, Crispy Chicken BLT, Spicy Buffalo Chicken, Bangkok Shrimp, Korean Beef Bulgogi, Steak & Cheese, Grilled Fish, Duck w/ Mole, Lamb Gyro, Shrimp ‘n’ Grits, Thai Peanut Chicken, and my all-time favorite Crispy Pork Belly w/ pickled watermelon rind. Oh, and I also had The Jammin’, which is on their kids menu, and is ground beef, lettuce, tomato, crema, and tastes more or less like taco night in the suburbs, and was frickin’ awesome. I loved it. In fact, every taco was great. There were no clunkers, no turds, no rejects.

So, yeah, done. Level complete. Except… now they tell me that on Friday and Saturday they have an ahi tuna taco… so I’m not quite at the end of my White Duck Taco menu crawl just yet… stay tuned!

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