From my post of last year:
……………. It is now clear to me there is a flavoring agent supplied from an external source. The only other baked item I can think of that does this is garlic bagels, made with commercially prepared rather then fresh garlic.
ADDENDUM: About this flavoring agent, I don’t think it is coming from an Air Wick-type contraption. I think it is being directly applied to the bread, either mixed in with the dough or sprayed on the exterior surface of the dough.
Today I was in a surburban strip mall shopping center. About 100 feet from me was a Subway. Suddenly, the mild breeze gave me a whiff of that unique sour smell of a Subway smell. So, I decided to have lunch there and see what I could learn. I noticed there was only bread proofing, but no bread baking. There was also only a mild smell within the store itself.
Observing the construction behind the counter, there was what amounted to a hood constructed of wallboard above the area occupied by the toasting oven, bread storage cabinet, and baking/proofing oven. Directly above the baking/proofing oven (inside the larger hood) was a metal hood which had an exhaust duct at the top of it. This was apparently the route the smell was taking to reach 100 feet from the restaurant. About 10 minutes before I left, they filled the oven with dough sticks from the proofer. When I left, there was very little smell outside the store. This concurs with what one former manager posted on a message board; that the smell comes from bread being proofed. I decided to do a little dumpster diving and “liberated” an empty box that some frozen Italian (White) Bread Dough Sticks came in. The ingredients list caused me to re-think what I posted last year, since there was nothing in the list that would obviously qualify as a external flavoring agent. Turns out Subway also lists their ingredients on their web site:
Contrary to my earlier suppositions, there do not appear to be any external flavoring agents used. Perhaps someone with commercial baking knowledge might be able to shed some light on if these ingredients could produce that distinctive Subway “smell”.
Dave the Food Sleuth comes through again! [8D]
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