In May, the 2nd annual Hankyu Bread Fair was held at the Hankyu department store in Osaka, Japan. Over 100 different bakeries from around Japan gathered over the week to showcase and sell their bread. Here are some of the highlights, reviews of the bread I ate, and the bread that I would recommend.
I thought I was obsessed with bread, but judging by the swarm of people in my face the minute I walked into the fair, I was clearly not the only one. The lines for all of the stalls were winding all over the place, and it was difficult to even see what people were lining up for. But I put my game face on, wallet in hand, and proceeded to discover some delicious bread to buy.
The bread was super light and fluffy, and the cream cheese was so delicious. I wish I could have eaten the bread freshly toasted because the warm bread and a slightly melted cheese would have been even better.
I was craving something sweet at this point, and decided to get the Raisin Bread at Grand Jeté Boulangerie.
It was a brioche roll filled with a mixture of raisins soaked in rum, caramelized sugar, and crushed almonds. This with the buttery, flaky bread could not get any better.
The last bread I bought was the Maple French Toast at Brugge. But it wasn’t just any old French toast. I stood in line for almost half an hour to buy it, because they ran out and had to get more delivered. It was so worth the wait though.
The French toast had a hint of maple syrup, and the outside was crunchy while the inside was dense and full of flavor. It melted in my mouth and was practically gone in a few minutes.
Some honorable mentions are these breads that I did not try or buy, but seemed very popular:
The first was the Dashimaki Sandwich. Dashimaki is a Japanese-style omelet, where thin layers of egg are rolled up and cooked. The sandwich seemed particularly good because of the super soft and delicate looking dashimaki, and the unique combination of a Japanese style food with bread.
The next was the Curry Bread. Curry bread is one of the staple breads often found at Japanese bakeries, and is a dough filled with curry, coated in breadcrumbs, and then fried. The crispy dough exterior, slight chewy interior, and thick, dense Japanese curry filled with beef and vegetables is a combination one must try.
The line to buy the Tobibako Bread was also very long, and was sold out before I had even left the fair. It appeared to be just a simple loaf of bread, but the quirk is that it is shaped as a tobibako. A tobibako is a jumping box that elementary kids in Japan use in PE classes to practice vaulting. If that’s not an excuse to buy this unique bread for the ultimate play-with-your-food experience, I don’t know what is.
Finally, the Brioche Con Gelato. I was able to snag a sample and even though it was a little taste, I really wanted to eat more and regretted not buying one. The warm brioche bread with the cold gelato sandwiched in between was an explosion of deliciousness in my mouth, and the curious but delightful mixture of temperatures is something to experience.
These were just several breads featured at the Hankyu Bread Fair among the many more that seemed just as delicious, giving me even more reasons to look forward to next year’s bread fair.