WaWa Hoagie Fest 2011, Wheat Style

Woke up too late to make lunch (again) and so when my stomach started rumbling around 1pm, I opted for WaWa. To my surprise, and absolute pleasure, I walked in and was greeted by a giant, groovy sign that read, “Hoagie Fest 2011.”

Yes, this wonderful time of the year has finally arrived, which means not only cheaper shorti’s, but it means that summer is quickly approaching. The feature right now is Turkey and Roast Beef (apparently you can have them together or separately) and turkey is my favorite so this was more good news.

I made my way over to the digital information kiosk (I love these things when it comes to sandwiches – I feel less guilty telling a computer my complicated order than I do a real person). Oven roasted turkey, provolone, a little bit of vinegar, salt, pepper oregano, lettuce, tomato, sweet peppers.

But, the surprises continue! I see on the screen,”Shorti” and “New! Shorti Wheat!” As a loyal wheat-eater I opted for the wheat without even thinking. I get it back to the office, unwrap it, and skepticism creeps out – the bread is “dusty” (you know what I mean?) and looks almost burnt on the bottom. I am now remembering my two-time-only bad wheat experience…

My absolute favorite local pizza place offers a whole wheat crust and it literally tastes like cardboard, and might be even more difficult to chew. I’ve mentioned before that I’m willing to try anything at least twice – so another time, months later when I figured they had time to improve their recipe – I tried their whole wheat bread sticks – just as bad, if not worse, than I had remembered. Anywho- as I  lean in to take my first bite I am thinking about how I hope this doesn’t happen again.

I take the first bite, the bread tastes a little dusty and dry on my tongue, but as the ingredients come together that taste is masked. So, then, it’s all good. I don’t love their wheat bread, but it is possible I just got a less-than-stellar piece. But it is nothing like that horrific pizza crust and it is more than tolerable. Will I get it again? Of course – it’s Wawa! They more than deserve a chance at redemption, and of course I have to follow my rule of trying it at least twice.

If you’re not a wheat fan – this is definitely not the place to try to become one. If you’re strict with wheat- then know that you’ll be okay. If you’re loyal but not super strict, like me, then I would definitely suggest giving it a try and deciding for yourself.

Not sure what all this whole grain hype is all about? Skeptical that they aren’t really better for you? They are – and here’s why, according to KidsHealth.org:

Bread is made out of flour that comes from grain kernels — usually wheat. A grain kernel has three parts: the bran, the endosperm, and the germ (so called because it’s the part of the kernel that germinates into a new plant).

Whole grains contain all parts of the grain kernel. But refined grains, like the flour used to make white bread, have had the fiber-dense bran and the nutrient-rich germ processed out, leaving only the starchy endosperm. This means that refined grain is not as rich in essential fatty acids, vitamin E, magnesium, and zinc.

Some flour and bread manufacturers “enrich” their bread by adding extra vitamins back in. But it’s still better to eat whole grains. The fiber and protein from the bran and germ provide a more constant source of energy, which will keep you going long after the energy from refined grains is gone. The fiber in the bran can also mean whole-grain breads help people feel full longer, preventing overeating.

If you’re buying packaged bread in the supermarket, be sure the label says “whole grain” or “whole wheat.”

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