Wheaton’s Way

Getting to the bottom of Captain's Bakery

The last couple of weeks have brought some pressing questions to the fore. Members of the community are stepping up and asking for answers on subjects previously unexplored. I conducted a completely unscientific survey and polled tens of people to find out what was the number one burning query on everyone’s mind. There was no contest: What the heck is Captain’s Bakery selling?

Touted as the ‘producer of Jamaica’s finest hard dough bread’, the company’s outlets stand out a mile, thanks to the multi-coloured dome that sits atop each one. For those unfamiliar with the brand, they might take the kids there in the hope of being greeted by a clown before paying entrance to the carnival.

When the 24-hour curfew ended on Saturday morning, the roads were buzzing with cars.

Residents were eager to go to the supermarkets and walk on the beach. There was only one problem – there must have been a fender bender at the south end of West Bay Road because traffic was bumper-to-bumper. My best friend and official shelter-in-place household member, Lynne, was trying to get home. “Hey Vic! I should be there soon. I’m just stuck near the Wharf. It’s really moving slowly – must be an accident.”

Five minutes later, she called me back. “It isn’t an accident – it’s Captain’s Bakery!” she exclaimed. “The lineup is HUGE!”

Soon after, Facebook lit up on the subject. Did the Captain’s Bakery have the cure for COVID-19? Is this where the greatest scientific minds on Earth had convened to start clinical trials? Could you fashion an N95 mask from its legendary hard dough bread?

A number of those posting who had never patronised the bakery before were now wanting to know what all the fuss was about and pledged to stop by there in the near future to get to the bottom of it all.

I haven’t been there yet, although I make my own ‘hard dough’ bread on a regular basis at home. There are two simple steps to my secret recipe:

  1. Buy a French bread stick or Parisian loaf from one of the supermarkets;
  2. Let it sit on the kitchen counter for three days, completely going to waste, et voila – bread that will break your teeth. It doesn’t get any harder than that.

I’m trying a lot of new things while stuck at home. For starters, I’m giving my bras a break, and it’s a glorious feeling. I also light a candle by my bed every evening while I read or watch TV before going to sleep. Not only is it a delightful distraction from the kitty litter in the bathroom, it also soothes me. It makes me feel like I’m in the middle of a Hallmark movie, where an island girl opens a candle shop and the guy who supplies the wax is just looking for that special someone.

I’m also cooking a bit, which has its pros and cons. Pros, in that I’m saving money; cons, in that I don’t know what the hell I’m doing, so I stay in my comfort zone. What does that mean? Eggs, my friends … eggs. Did you know you can scramble, fry, poach, boil and omelette those suckers? Well, Lynne is finding out in a big, bad ugly way. Every meal that I create is like George Foreman’s sons – different look but same name.

Speaking of eggs, the wild chickens around my house certainly don’t seem to be practising social distancing. There they are, every morning and evening, gathering for their feed. It’s nice to have a bit of normalcy, even if it comes in the form of hungry cluckers.

Lynne couldn’t bear the mystery any longer. She bought some Captain’s Bakery bread yesterday. Can’t wait to try it out, and our Caribbean chickens are in for a crusty treat.

P.S. I have a kitty litter tray in the bathroom because I have a cat in my bedroom. Things haven’t quite got that desperate yet.

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