Many 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. 🙂