I've been wondering about this for many years now and have yet to find an answer. Why are Italian pre-sliced loaves of bread treated with ethyl alcohol? The first time I bought a bag, I opened it and was blown away by the smell of rubbing alcohol. I thought the bread had gone bad and threw it out. I bought another bag, opened it and it reeked of alcohol again. Upon reading the label I discovered this...
...it actually contains ethyl alcohol (trattato con alcool etilico).
Oddly enough, American pre-sliced bread loaves do not:
Now before you start getting all bread-snobbish on me, let me defend why, on occasion, I buy this kind of bread: bread goes stale quickly and sometimes I like to have an egg & cheese sandwich for breakfast but don't want to have to go out and buy fresh bread before I've even had breakfast SO it's handy to have a bag of this stuff sitting around. Okay?
Back to the point- I don't understand why ethyl alcohol is used in Italy but not in USA, where they tend to do all sorts of strange shit to food. Any clues?