“Mad alchemy meets traditional French baking” in The Kettle Black, the latest bakery to open in Philadelphia. The Kettle Black offers a range of bagels and delicious crusty breads, many of which include activated black charcoal.
Although the charcoal doesn’t give the baked goods a special taste, it creates a striking appearance.
They offer a weekly sandwich and bagel special, which are all delicious. The day my friend and I went, they had a special vegan lox (made with pickled carrot – so good!) and a bean hummus with caramelized onion.
Some believe that activated black charcoal is a natural antidote, because of its filtering properties. However, co-founders and husband and wife, Marc Basile and Claire Ogilvie, don’t claim any of the health benefits are true; their bread just tastes amazing.
Below is one of their most popular loaves, “The Crackler,” named after the distinct loud noise it makes when it comes out of the oven. As a perfectly crusty bread cools, the thick crust contracts, making a crackling noise.
My friend and I arrived just after the bakery opened at 7, right in time to catch Ogilvie taking photos of The Crackler for Instagram. She keeps their Insta quite active, always posting videos of her husband (and head baker) dancing as he laminates croissants or slashes breads before baking.
The Kettle Black
631 N 2nd Street Philadelphia, PA 19123