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Explore Japan

Innovative Japanese Bread

Aired: July 9, 2021 (UTC)


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Bread is enjoyed by people around the world, and while it seems like a Western staple, Japan too has a long bread history that goes back to the late 19th century. An essential part of Japanese food culture, the country is currently seeing a unique evolution in its bread scene.

Japan is the birthplace of many types of bread including anpan (bread roll filled with sweet red bean paste), melonpan (sweet bun covered with crumbly cookie dough), and currypan (bread roll filled with curry). And right now, the bread world is experiencing a surge that can perhaps be called a movement, with large sections of department stores devoted to bakeries and bread festivals bringing together popular bakers from around the country.

This trend began in 2013 with the introduction of premium white bread, a fluffy bread with a soft center, sold by the loaf. Even the crust is soft and delicious. Enjoyed at home as breakfast toast or to make sandwiches, this original Japanese bread is now considered a tasteful gift in a culture where giving small gifts is part of daily life.

Following the arrival of premium white bread, Japanese bread culture has grown with the evolution of social media to include breads that are not only tasty but vibrant and photogenic.

In this program, meet two bread artists gaining recognition for their eye-catching bread inventions. First is Ran, the creator of the “Illustration Bread,” who now has over 330,000 social media followers. The bread she creates reveals delightful visuals as the loaf is sliced. The second bread artist is Elly, who is redefining the melonpan with her colorful, decorative creations.

Join us as we step into the world of picturesque bread-making, with Elly and Ran as our guides. A treat for the eyes as well as the mouth, see how the Japanese bread world continues to innovate and surprise in modern times.

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