Crusts: Japan and France

Crust.pngMany Japanese hate the crust on bread. For them it is too tough and not as pretty as the rest of the bread. So at some Japanese bread shops they cut off the ends of the loaf (called “the ears”)  as well as the rest of the crust, leaving a pure white interior.  I lived near the Kamo river in Kyoto and would often see older people come to the shops where this crust is given away free, so they’d get some to feed to the birds and ducks on Kamo River.

I benefited greatly from this Japanese eating preference. When I landed in Japan, from India, I had almost no money. So I would go to these bread shops, and use the free ends of the loafs to make cheap sandwiches for myself.  They were simple sandwiches consisting of Japanese mustard and occasionally tuna.  I didn’t find those crusts too hard at all. And fortunately, after 6 weeks of that odd diet, I found a job and started eating much better.

Now, on the opposite end of the spectrum are the French who love baguettes — a narrow shaft of bread with hard, hard crust that can cut the roof of your mouth. Have you ever tried baguettes and hurt your mouth? Today I wondered if the French way of talking with tiny mouths and pursed lips is because the roofs of their mouths are always sore. 🙂


Filed under Philosophy & Religion

7 responses to “Crusts: Japan and France

  1. If you think that baguettes hurt your mouth then either you are eating a stale one or haven’t had enough practice in eating them properly. Nothing better than a fresh baguette. Of course, for some purposes, white interior is good too. Everyone to his/her taste! Bread is not a Japanese thing. But we should also see how people in Europe treat a typically Japanese food item. Take, for instance, miso. I wouldn’t be surprised if some Europeans used miso on bread with cheese–to the dismay, I suppose, of a Japanese. In Greece, there used to be an urban myth that eating bread crust alone is good when you’re dieting. I don’t know if there’s a basis to that–I doubt it. Here’s my method for reviving a hard baguette. I lightly sprinkle it with water and then heat it up for a few seconds. Resurrection guaranteed! Add a bit of olive oil, oregano, salt and pepper and feel the taste!

  2. @ Takis
    LOL — damn, it shouldn’t take practice to eat a food!
    BTW, I like baguettes and don’t like Japanese bread.
    It was a good fun to poke fun at the way the French talk.

  3. Yes, indeed. Practice. In fact, right practice. Something from the eightfold path of the four noble truths, I suppose…
    And, by the way, ask a French person (or Greek, for that matter) to pronounce “sheet”.
    Happy New Year.

  4. Happy Julian Calendar New Year to you too

  5. Interesting cultural difference.

  6. Kamaella

    Hi this was an interesting short and sweet post, I really liked it so I just had to let you know.

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