Decent supermarket rye (and/or pumpernickel) - do they exist?

Yes, I could (and do, on occasion) bake my own. But sometimes you want the convenience of a store-bought, machine sliced loaf. I bought Pepperidge Farm’s rye/pumpernickel swirl recently, though, and it tastes like NOTHING. I mean, it barely even tastes like bread, let alone like rye. Does anyone have a recommendation for a decent supermarket rye or pumpernickel? Seeded or unseeded. Thanks, HOs!


Are you talking about the real deal? The dense, lightly sweet, moist pumpernickel / Schwarzbrot one gets in Germany?

Or the caramel food colored fluffy crap of the same name sold around these parts that has absolutely nothing to do with its namesake?

If the former, Wegmans’ international section has imported German Vollkornbrot, Sonnenblumenkernbrot, and occasionally Pumpernickel. The real thing. And you’d never toast that stuff. Like, ever.

German owned supermarkets, like Aldi and Lidl, are the most reliable sources in the UK. I don’t know how many outlets the companies might have in America.

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Have you tried Arnold? That’s the other major supermarket brand. I sometimes buy their thin-sliced rye and have been reasonably satisfied with it. I agree that PF is lousy.

This Michigan product looks good – although closer to American rye than American pumpernickel:

Aldi carries traditional German rye sometimes. It’s good but a totally different animal. You’d never make a pastrami sandwich or reuben with that. It’s super dense and moist and needs a lot of toasting to work as a vehicle for spreads or toppings (my fave being chive cream cheese, cucumber, fresh dill, and smoked salmon).

If you’re in NY, are there Jewish delis that might carry a selection?

Oroweat makes several including dark dark and Jewish (seeded). Neither is heavy-duty but both make a decent (depending on your point of view) sandwich.

I generally buy it from Aldi/Lidl precisely to make pastrami sandwiches. My favourite bread for them. Bread, butter, pastrami, grain mustard, dill pickle.

Just to be clear, you’re making pastrami with this bread (which I actually haven’t seen at US Aldi stores, but I’m sure the UK has it)?ˈp,("rye%20berries").

Certainly looks like the same bread, lingua. Although the supermarket product is usually thinly sliced, rather than a whole loaf.

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The last time I had a hankering for it, the supermarket varieties around me looked awful.

One of my office cafeterias had great rye, and I ate it toasted and buttered with my coffee almost daily. Who knew that would be hard to find again. I do think one can take rye a bit for granted in the NYC area given how many specialty Jewish bakeries supply it places.

I ended up buying TJs marble rye, which is in the shape of their Tuscan pane line. It was decent — not fluffy, good chew like the rest of that line, mild rye flavor.

I just took a look online, and there’s a supermarket brand called Levy’s that looks like it might work — definitely doesn’t look fluffy. Bread Alone also shows a dark rye loaf, but I haven’t come across it in store, will check.

But agree with @ChristinaM on finding a Jewish bakery or deli that will sell you a loaf.

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Actually, no - that I can find at some of my local stores (Mestemacher brand), but I usually buy on Amazon to ensure freshness (it seems to sit and sit on my grocery store shelves).

I’m looking for “American” pumpernickel, which is certainly fluff-IER than the above but IMO should not be fluffy like Wonderbread. Grocery store bakeries in my Midwest hometown used to offer delicious versions - dense and firm, similar to a good sandwich rye in texture but with a different flavor (no caraway ever, slightly sweeter but still with good tang).


I buy and eat my share of all the wonderful German breads when we are in Berlin for the summer. Although we do have an East European market that puts out a decent rye, it’s nowhere near what I can get back home. I look forward to that all year <3

I haven’t tried their rye, but I have found some of their other breads intolerably sweet so I’ve been reluctant to waste any more money on them. Will take a look at the label next time and see if added sugars seem reasonable.


Gotcha! I figured as much. And yes, the Mestemacher brand is the one available at Wegmans, and - like you said - I find it to be super-stale whenever I get it. Amazon’s a good tip, thank you!

I don’t recall whether my local stores carry Orowheat, but I’ll have a look next time - thanks!

I think I’ve seen this one in local stores - I’ll check it out next time. I agree that Jewish bakeries are the best place to find something great but I’d love to know of a decent supermarket alternative when there’s just no time for anything else.

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Might be regional — doesn’t show as available at the WF stores near me in NY.

They do have a Balthazar sourdough rye, though.

This is the only ‘supermarket’ rye bread I would buy again (only had it once):

Oroweat Schwarzwalder Dark Rye Bread, 16 oz -

I buy a seeded rye from the local (probably biggest) Jewish bakery - it’s very light colored. Maybe dark breads don’t sell well here???

The WF rye above does not sell here, either apparently. At a WF in a very hoity-toity part of town (i.e. not convenient to me) I found a Finnish rye loaf, about the size of a 6 pack of eggs, very dark, very sturdy. I remember it as being a WF product. Woulda been perfect for Scandi-open faced sandwiches I guess. This was before Bezos took over WF. If you have WF available, might check more than one.

I tend to stay away from any of those twirled, whirled or marbled breads.


the deli counter at the local Giant has a bread mini-section.
which has - I’m guessing - selections from local bakeries - plain cello wrapper, stick on label with brand and type.
nothing remotely the same as the fluffed mass market “full section of bread” - which is actually at the other end of the store.
one would not immediately think look in the deli for bread . . . .so , , ,

also nice, the ryes/etc are typically half a loaf size. quantities work out well when you get the odd nibble need for hot corned beef / pastrami on rye.

Oroweat is what I buy from the supermarket. Same company as Arnold’s and Brownberry. Different names depending on the part of the country. I’ve had their Jewish, Dark, and Russian rye. I think they’re okay. Not flavorless, anyway.