Last Day of the Year

Last Saturday I went down to Tokyo and went bread shopping.

In general, in Japan, bread comes in three varieties:  plain white, processed wheat, or bakery style (white with nuts or berries or butter or corn thrown inside).

Like many Americans, I grew up with an abundance and variety I did not appreciate until I did not have it any more.  I would carelessly squander the crusts and crumbs of my dark rye bread sandwiches thinking, perhaps carelessly, that there would always be more.

I wasted entire halves of bagels, discarded various fruit breads, snubbed lesser breads like sourdough and pumpernickel.

Then I came to Japan.  I have searched the length and breadth of the islands in search of a decent deli.  I have found nothing.  I have looked for sandwich shops, Russian bakeries, little old German women selling bread out of their kitchens, and still, I have found nothing.

A few weeks ago, a good friend of mine moved from our sleepy, middle of nowhere town, to the big city.  I received an e-mail a few days ago:  "They have a real German bakery!  It's good!"  I bought a train ticket the next day, and, well, last Saturday, I went bread shopping.

I bought three loaves of German rye bread, made by real Germans in a small bakery near Ogikubo in greater Tokyo.  It is good bread.  Soft inside, with a hard crust, and oats and flour.  And with an actual flavor severely lacking in the Japanese processed breads.

It may seem a small thing, but it has made me very happy this New Year's.  I hope yours is equally happy.

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2 responses to “Last Day of the Year

  1. Excellent! I can imagine how the little things become so important. Congratulations on finding some decent bread, and Happy New Year!

  2. Thanks. I've now eaten too much and am having a hard time moving. Life is good. Happy New Year to you and yours as well.

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