One of my stock lines in describing The United States of Arugula is that it’s the story of “how we went from Velveeta and Wonder Bread to chevre and artisanal loaves.”
You wouldn’t be wrong to detect an inherent anti-Wonder Bread stance in this statement; I’ve always found the stuff pretty nasty. But now I’ve discovered that Wonder Bread serves a noble purpose that would delight even the most processed-food-abhorring aesthete: It helps preserve great artworks.
Recently, I became acquainted with a director at one of the major art auction houses in New York, and she let me in on a trade secret: Wonder Bread is often used in the art world to clean oil paintings. You wad up a slice into a ball, she says, and you remove the grime and grit from the painting with a blotting, rather than wiping, motion. Repeat over the canvas with several slices of bread, section by section. And just like that, your dusky Mark Rothko will blaze and glimmer anew. Makes the bread taste great, too!