There is no yeast anywhere to be found in the USA except on amazon.com. It appears to be a hot commodity.
$24USD for a 16 oz. (1 lb) bag of Red Star Active Dry yeast? (normally about $6.95 USD, in my experience.) $14.95 USD for a 16 oz. (1 lb.) package of Saf Instant Yeast is the lowest price for that brand. It goes up to $20.99USD. That’s just one variety.
Fleischmann’s 3 pack of .25 oz. yeast packages, in a 2-pack (6 packages altogether) for $16.99 USD. It’s crazy.
If that’s not price gouging, I don’t know what is. Shame.
According to an article my husband pulled up, people are baking bread. It’s therapeutic, fun–especially with kids–, and is an activity that also helps minimize trips to the grocery store for a needed staple. It tastes — depending on the skill of the baker–much better than mass-produced store bought. It’s great that stay-at-home, or quarantining, has produced a resurgence in one of the oldest activities in the world.
Not that people don’t bake in the US. Especially around any holiday, and Easter is coming up. It doesn’t seem that overall it’s as common as an everyday thing that it may be in other countries.
I only have a half jar of yeast left. Which is when I normally try to remember to buy another jar, so I don’t get caught shorthanded. However, I do know how to make starters, or chef-levain. Takes a little more time–of which I have plenty, and I like to make bread from such for the challenge– and the results are infinitely more satisfying.
Times have changed.