Shopping around: Ciabatta bread
Bread is the food of the gods in my opinion, but it has been effectively demonised in the last 20 years by popular non-carbohydrate diets. So, where once bread used to be considered mere sustenance and an acceptable staple of any diet, now it is considered a guilty pleasure by bread-abstinent evangelists.
My guiltiest pleasure is good old-fashioned white sliced pan, but a decent loaf of ciabatta or sourdough can cheer up any day and the addition of some extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar and hummus turns it into a humble feast.
A rustic ciabatta makes for a sturdy sandwich. Whether it's a posh breakfast roll, a spruced-up BLT or an old-school cheese-and-tomato sarnie, the ciabatta's crusty outer layer helps prevent lunchbox sandwiches from turning soggy. A freshly baked loaf is always a winner, but some of the vacuum-packed options below are worth having on standby for those days where a picnic is required at short notice.
Supervalu Bake at Home 4 ciabatta 280g
Price: 59c Cost per 100g: 21¢
Verdict: These are part-baked, so you just pop them in the oven and they come out tasting freshly baked.
Per 100g you get 252 calories, 6.6g of protein, 1.7g sugar, 2.4g of fat.
Tesco Snack Ciabatta Roll 4pk approx 300g
Price: €1.39 Cost per 100g: 46¢
Verdict: This pack of mini ciabatta rolls come from Tesco's bakery, so they taste the freshest of the three but are also the most expensive and should be used on the day of purchase.
No nutrition information available.
Aldi Sunnyhills Ciabatta Loaf 300g
Price: 59¢ Cost per 100g 19¢
Verdict: Another par-baked option, this one comes as a whole loaf so you decide the serving size.
Per 100g 249 calories, 8.9g of protein, 2.4g of sugar, 1.5g of fat.