I’ve touched on the strangeness of sandwiches on this site before but sandwiches are not the only offbeat baked goods here. Bakeries carry the names Saint Marc and Vie De France, despite the fact that showing their products to a Frenchman would make them recoil in shock. I’m not saying the contents of Japanese bakeries is bad of course, just that Frenchmen are very proud of their bread.
One example of strange baked goods is the fried doughnut. If that isn’t odd enough the filling of the doughnut is usually curry (yes, CURRY). To be fair though its referred to as curry bread by the Japanese but it looks enough like a doughnut to give people who can’t read Japanese a big shock. On the subject of doughnuts, getting hold of a jam one is stupidly difficult. Azuki bean seems to be the flavour of choice here.
Azuki bean is also the filling for anpan. Which is a sweet bread with azuki bean on the inside. Anpan was the inspiration for the popular children’s character, Anpanman, who is made of anpan and allows people to eat his head when they are in trouble. Which is a pretty sick idea if you ask me.
Another bakery product here is the Mont Blanc, which from the outside looks like some kind of spaghetti covered monstrosity. In fact, the covering is some kind of coconut purée, it’s innards are a sugar, cake and more sugar. It’s too sweet for me.
Something which isn’t too sweet for me is the wonderful melon pan but then I’ve already discussed that at length. The Japanese seem to love their sweet bread, they have managed to turn sandwiches into a dessert. I’m not talking just putting Nutella in between the slices but strawberries and cream. I’ve even seen a whole fruit salad inside a sandwich. I didn’t try it, it looked a bit soggy.
Looking at the products doesn’t provide the only strangeness in a bakery. The other week, when buying a tasty curry bread and melon pan for lunch, I received a special free gift. The checkout girl thrust a single slice of bread into my bag. As far as free gifts go, it’s a bit of an odd one. I’m not complaining but she could have at least given me two slices. Then I could have made a sandwich.