Dear Tokyo Times,
I realise that Japan’s staple food is rice, but I’ve heard that loaves of bread over there are pitifully small — like a measly 10 slices or something. Is it true?
Sadly Sam, a 10-slice loaf is the stuff of dreams, with those of us partial to a bit of flour-based foodstuff forced to buy packets containing a measly 6 slices — or perhaps 8 if we are really lucky.
And whilst admittedly the pieces are on the plump side, a lunch hedging towards the hefty will invariably result in yet another trip to the supermarket; although such a shortage of slices is apparently ideal for a welcoming wicker basket display.
Yet as hard as it is to believe, Japanese baking behemoth Yamazaki has opted to take this worrying trend even further by introducing a far more thrifty 3 slice option.
Ideal for single people apparently.
For a single day no doubt.
(Any similarly banal questions — or even interesting ones if you have any — would be gratefully received, as it would negate the need to
make any more up mys pester people for ideas. You can submit them here or alternatively leave a comment below.)
We have the same problem in China. Though it goes further – all the bread here is SWEET which makes me feel slightly sick after consuming it.
Who buys packaged bread in Japan? There’s a bakery on every corner selling hot-from-the-oven baguettes, manned in many cases by honest-to-god trained-in-France bakers. And the new trend of “retro baguettes” or “artisanal baguettes” makes store-bought bread even less appealing. In the U.S. the closest thing is dropping by your local Panera and getting a baguette to take out–they’re good, but they’re kind of dense.
Bread is a food that is best when fresh. I actually think that generally speaking Japan has some pretty good bread available at bakeries like Stephen mentioned. But the “shoku pan” like in the photo is also quite nice. BTW, the 4, 6 and 8-slice packages are exactly the same amount of bread; just the thickness of the slices is different. A toasted 4-slicer is really good; crispy on the outside, moist on the inside. It might be too thick to toast in certain toasters though.
Dear Tokyo Times
I have several entirely unrelated to bread questions.
1. Are there some tenement buildings with as many apartments underground as above? Or is this fanciful anti Japanese propaganda by western tabloids intent on propagating the myth of a Tokyo mole-men menace?
2. Also, are there any tall Japanese people?
3. Is Pocari Sweat real sweat?
4. What’s that V for victory thing that Japanese people do all about when they have their photo taken?
5. What’s the most unpleasant thing you’ve ever seen in Japan, scary, sickening or otherwise?
6. What does rural Japan think about all that giant robot bollocks?
7. Can you get pies and/or pasties in Japan?
8. What’s the best and worst Japanese food for a western palate?
9. Have you considered sending Jonathan Warburton an e-mail about selling bread in Japan? According to their adverts he’s open to any suggestions.
10. What’s the best ever Japanese joke you’ve heard?
Just re-reading that last post, I admit question 9 might have had something to do with bread.
Also, I’m not sure what I was thinking with question 6, farmers in Japan probably think about the same thing they do here, ( well, apart from EU subsidies ) just give it your best shot.
Shanghai-Sam – Its so odd! What ever happened to normal bread!
A lady I teach a private lesson to eats a quarter piece of toast with her breakfast every morning.
I guess 3 slices would last a whole week that way.
what can you do with only 3 slices of bread, what’s the lonely slice for?