Foodie Friday with Tetote Factory
Think Japanese food is all about sushi? Think again! Japan is a nation of true foodies – Tokyo has the most Michelin-starred restaurants of any world city – and they don’t just love raw fish. Bakeries have been enjoyed a real boom in Japan for a few years now; patisseries and bakeries can be found in department stores, as well as spotted somewhere along the street in most towns. But since bread is not, nor has it ever been, a staple food in Japan, it has to be said that the Japanese approach to bread is a bit different to here in Europe. But you can still get a taste of it, at the Tetote Factory.
Sugar, Spice and All Things Nice
The Tetote Factory is run by the son of a Japanese couple from Doki, the Tomitas, who trained as a baker whilst living in Japan. The Tetote Factory offers a wide range of bread, kashi-pan (bread, normally buns or cakes, filled or topped with sweet ingredients, such as chocolate or anko) and sozai-pan (bread, usually buns or cakes, filled or topped with savoury ingredients, such as bacon or cheese).
If you have a sweet tooth, Japanese kashi-pan is a dream come true. There’s an pan, filled with sticky & sweet red bean paste, kuriimu pan, filled with cream, and melon pan, which isn’t filled (or even made) with melon but has a crisp cookie-like crust, and a soft, doughy, delicious centre. An-pan is so popular that it has even inspired its very own anime character, the an-pan-headed Anpanman. Sozai-pan, on the other hand, are savoury snacks that are the ‘main meal’ to kashi-pan’s ‘dessert’. Sozai means ‘prepared dish or meal’, and these tasty treats are an instant snack or lunch. Popular choices include curry pan, where curry is enveloped in a bun, or savoury rolls topped or folder around sausage, tuna, sweetcorn, cheese and more.
The Tetote Factory also sells a variety of loaves, traditional French baguettes, brioche and more. All products are made with the highest quality ingredients available, freshly on the premises.
Why is my cactus Portuguese?
If you’re wondering why bread is pan in Japanese, the answer it simple – it derives from the Portuguese word paõ. If you’re now wondering what on earth Japan and Portugal have got to do with each other, the answer is a little more complicated. International relations between Japan and Portugal are thought to have started around 1543, and lasted until the period of national isolation (basically, when Japan threw out all the foreigners, apart from a few Dutch) began in 1639. During that time, the Portuguese Jesuits (a kind of evangelistic Catholic) preached about Christianity in Japan, and in the process introduced Japan to contemporary European science, medicine and astronomy, as well as literature, philosophy, and…bread. Or paõ. Which soon became pan. Today, there are many words that originally derive from Portuguese in the Japanese language, like saboten for cactus (sabaõ), tabako for tobacco (tabaco), igirisu for England (ingles) and even tempura for, er, tempura (temperar).