I’d never even heard of Bimini bread before last week. But now I’m not sure I can live without it.
I’d taken a quickie trip over to the tiny Bahamian outpost (there’s a new fast ferry service from port of Miami; stay tuned for details in a future post) to see what I could see. But tasting what I could taste turned out to be the highlight. Tooling in a golf cart along the eight-square mile island’s main street (more of a dirt road, truth be told), I set a course for Taste of Heaven, the bakery local sources told me was the place on North Bimini to try the crave-worthy carb.
So what exactly is Bimini bread? TOH’s irrepressible owner, Tamica “Tammy” Romer, explained that it’s a type of sandwich bread, but much softer, sweeter and more buttery than you’d find in your local supermarket.
While white Bimini bread is an island staple, it also comes in cinnamon-raisin and coconut flavors, the latter excellent for making French toast. Taste of Heaven fires up the oven every morning at 4 a.m., and when they open at 8 a.m., the loaves start flying off the shelves.
I arrived just as a batch was emerging from the oven, and when Tammy placed one in my hands it felt as soft, warm and weighty as a newborn. Except that instead of smelling of baby powder, this Bimini baby had a yeasty aroma that tempted my taste buds, instantly erasing any carb-counting resolutions. And the taste? As she’d promised, the bread was super soft and decidedly sweet. But it was also surprisingly light, with an airy quality that belied the generous quantities of butter that the recipe requires. How could something so “wrong” taste so deliciously right?
“The secret is in my hands,” Tammy crowed. “They’re blessed.” And as I stuffed another deliciously doughy piece into my mouth, I completely believed her.