Keep that sandwich tasty by keeping bread its freshest

While it makes for great duck-feeding food and can work well as homemade croutons, typically, stale bread is the pits. There is little worse than going to make a piled high, mustard-laden turkey sandwich, only to find your whole-wheat or sourdough slices are too hard to eat.

To remedy this conundrum, here are several options to keep your breads at their best.

The DesiDry Bread Container, sold at the Container Store, can help lengthen the shelf life of most baked goods, from loaves of bread to leftover cupcakes. The clear, domed box with a snap lid is safe for the freezer, refrigerator and dishwasher.

Each box features a DesiDry packet to absorb moisture and keep bread fresh up to six times longer than traditional containers. The packets stay fresh for three to six months, depending on the humidity of the air (and in Georgia, humidity is - as you know - pretty high). The container retails for $14.99 and the packets are $3.99 for a package of four. Visit www.containerstore.com.

Also at the Container Store, Roll Top Bread Boxes will help keep any yeast-based food fresh. The clear plastic box features a rolling lid to seal in freshness. The boxes are available in small or large sizes to accommodate a variety of foods, including rolls, loaves or bagels. Retailing for $19.99 for a small or $29.99 for a large box, they are sold at area Container Stores and online.

Bagels can be tricky to store. If left on the counter, they quickly sprout green patches of mold. If you store them in the refrigerator, they morph into inedible rings of rock. For bagels lovers facing the storage quandary, Farberware has created the Slice and Serve Bagel Storage Set.

The large, airtight plastic canister is appropriately labeled "Bagel" in block letters. It features a "burpable" lid to help the carbolicious food retain its freshness. The set comes with an individual bagel holder - labeled "Hold that bagel!"- with two slit sides for easy and safe slicing. The storage set is dishwasher-, microwave- and freezer-friendly, and retails for $14.99 at home stores.

Preserving the lunch-box life of the school-time staple, Mobi Fancy Sandwich Bags are a fun twist on the traditional zip-top bag. Decorated with bright strips, polka dots or flower mazes, these snap-and-seal baggies add a punch to the basic (and often boring) brown bagged lunch.

The bags are perfect size for keeping your PB and J fresh, but they can also carry an array of snacks, from baby carrots to green grapes or gummy bears. For $14.99, you get 60 baggies - 20 of each design. They're sold at Target.

For even hardier sandwich storage, toss the baggie and opt instead for plastic. Housing a single, standard-sized sandwich, the Sandwich Container from Space Savers keeps sandwiches fresh and unsquished, and are ideal for school or office lunches. The dishwasher-safe container retails for $3.99 and is available online at www.spacesavers.com.