by Mabel Suen
If Gut Check told you that a baked good existed in the world that had no sugar, salt, butter, artificial flavors or additional processed ingredients and still tasted delightful, would you believe it? Well, free-thinking friends, meet Princess Ezenwa and her company Princess Delights Bakery, which offers gourmet specialty breads that are 100% all natural, 100% whole wheat and bran, and lack all the ingredients which have gained a bad reputation for health's sake.
Ezenwa grew up working for her father's bakery in Nigeria, which sold whole wheat and enriched breads, learning about daily operations from the get-go. Her mother also led a confectionary under the same company for cookies and cakes.
"The Silas bread is something out of this world," says Ezenwa. "The recipes for my father's breads are totally different from American breads, and his motto always stuck with me -- 'First, and still the best.' After learning from him, I wanted to do something unique."
How can a baked good with no sugar taste good? Ezenwa's breads ($6 each) come in the following flavors: apricot nut, banana nut, cranberry orange, flaxseed carrot pineapple, lemon blueberry, lemon poppy seed, maple applesauce, strawberry, zucchini, chocolate zucchini and her younger daughter Nneka's personal favorite, pumpkin cheese. With such powerful flavorful profiles, the breads become sweetened naturally by high quality, fresh ingredients as well as plant extracts.
Ezenwa started her business in 2003 and has been perfecting her recipes and doing test marketing ever since. These days, her baking is still strongly rooted in her family, with her children being a large influence and driving force for her company. Outside of simply being diet-conscious, gluten-free and vegan versions are available for special needs.
"When I go into the kitchen, I know that everything that I create will come out just the way I want it to," says Ezenwa, who works from memory rather than recipes.
Princess Delight breads are baked fresh at the Begin Center and are available at the St. Louis Women's Exchange (9214 Clayton Road; 314-997-4411), Sappington Farmers' Market (8400 Watson Road; 314-843-7848) and through special order on the Princess Delights web site.