Bakers Journal

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Editor’s Letter: March 2015

Seventy-Five Candles


March 11, 2015
By Brian Hartz

I must confess that, much like any computer-bound worker in the 21st century, I surf the web when boredom sets in and procrastination’s siren song beckons. But instead of the latest celebrity gossip, I turn to more esoteric sites like WolframAlpha.com. Billing itself a “computational knowledge engine,” it’s like Google on steroids.

When I enter the term “75 years” into Wolfram’s search bar, it spits out a litany of factoids about this particular span of time. For example, 75 years is equal to 27,375 days – or 657,000 hours if you prefer. It’s 45 per cent of the orbital period of Neptune, and 96 per cent of the average human lifespan.

If stats aren’t your thing, 75 years ago gasoline cost about 10 cents per gallon; songs like “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” by Paul Whiteman were all the rage; and a trade magazine called Bakers Journal debuted.

The latter is a tribute to you – bakers, pastry chefs, and the industry that supports you. For us to be able to produce this magazine 75 years after its conception is a reflection of your dedication, creativity, innovation, tireless work ethic and all the other qualities – too many to enumerate here – that have made you indispensable to the health and wellbeing of the Canadian populace.

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In our cover story this month, Stephanie Ortenzi describes how the Canadian food industry had to adapt during the wartime economy in the 1940s, when Bakers Journal arrived on the scene. Bread makers contributed mightily to feeding the nation during this time of strict rationing, but despite the lack of luxuries like sugar and coffee, the nation’s love for doughnuts also got its start during World War II. For the full story and a look back at the Canadian baking industry throughout the years, see page 10.

Diamonds are the traditional gift for a 75th anniversary, and rightly so, but we hope that by continuing to do what we’ve always done – serve as a voice for the baking industry – we’ll provide value to you that far exceeds that of a precious gemstone. Value in the form of the latest industry news and other developments that will keep you informed and able to perform to the best of your abilities. With that goal in mind, this month, in addition to looking back, we’re also looking ahead, thanks to Carol Culhane’s article on page 32 that provides an overview of how nutrition labelling has steadily become a hot political topic.

For those of you who will be at the Baking Association of Canada’s Bakery Congress 2015 in Montreal later this spring, please join us as we celebrate 75 years of Bakers Journal with a special, custom-made birthday cake courtesy of pastry chef, cake designer and pastry arts instructor Catherine Beddall, owner of Catherine’s Cakery in Ottawa. Beddall’s work will also be featured in our April 2015 issue alongside other award-winning Canadian cake bakers.

April also sees the deadline for our first-ever Jake the Baker Award competition. Sponsored by Ardent Mills, Callebaut, and Bunge Oils, its grand prize includes an all-expenses-paid trip to Bakery Congress 2015, a cover story in an upcoming issue of Bakers Journal, a commemorative award plaque to hang in your bakery and a special surprise gift from Jake the Baker himself! Entries are coming in fast and furious, so if you haven’t entered already, it’s time to do so by visiting www.jakethebaker.com. The deadline is April 1.

On behalf of the entire team at Bakers Journal, I thank you – the readers and advertisers – for making it possible for this magazine to exist 75 years after its birth. With your continued support, we’ll be around to serve you for another 75.


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