Many Japanese people enjoy eating fluffy, soft, and chewy white milk bread, known as 食パン, shokupan, baked into square loaves.
However, whether it’s in delicious egg sandwiches or sealed sandwich pockets, almost all shokupan sandwiches sold in Japan have their crusts removed.
Crusted bread lovers do exist but the prevailing perception is that crusts aren’t as tasty as the bread inside.
And this could be a remnant from the days when bread crusts were harder, but this perception has remained still today and shops all over Japan continue to do this since it corresponds to an expectation that still exists among most of customers.
Although some companies give crusts to farmers to use in animal feed and reuse them in other baked goods, not all companies do the same and the practice of removing crusts invariably results in food waste.
But what if the crusts were just as the same as the bread inside and didn’t need to be removed?
This was the concept behind a new type of shokupan bread developed by The Imperial Hotel Co Ltd. , a milk bread with an unusual white crust that it hopes will curb the practice of removing the crust when making sandwiches.
Tokyo Chef Sugimoto and his team at the Imperial Hotel Co., Ltd. spent six months developing this innovative type of bread that they claim eliminates the need to get rid of the crust.
People have been coming up with all sorts of ways to recycle bread crusts in order to curb food waste, but Sugimoto’s idea was to create a crust that didn’t have to be discarded in the first place.
Although Imperial Hotel did not fully disclose the secret behind its new product, it did mention that it is baked slowly at a lower temperature than regular shokupan bread, which results in a white color all through the bread and a more moist texture.
Founded in 1890 by Japanese aristocracy, Imperial Hotel used to serve regular crustless milk bread sandwiches to its customers, but starting on October 1st of this year, they will be switching to this new innovative white crust bread, thus decreasing its food waste considerably.
The white crust bread will be served in the Imperial Hotel’s restaurants and at banquets, but people will also be able to purchase it from Gargantua Delicatessen, a luxury bakery that has been serving hotel guests and the local community since 1971.
In addition to the white bread, yellow bread made with carrot puree will also be available….
Images from web – Google Research