Yakitate!! Japan

Yakitate Japan

Yakitate!! Japan

I’m hooked on Yakitate!! Japan right now. This is a 69-episode anime about a young and talented bread-maker named Azuma Kazuma who wants to create the ultimate Japanese national bread, or “Ja-pan” (pan = Japanese for bread). Azuma leaves the country side for Tokyo to train at Pantasia, the biggest bakery chain in Japan. The story is about him, his coworkers, the breads they create, and baking competitions. It’s like Iron Chef but as an animated soap opera, and all about bread making. Crap that just gets me all salivating and giddy.

Yakitate! Japan

There is some extreme comic fictitiousness to it all, like Azuma’s legendary “Solar Hands” (hands capable of forming awesome bread dough because they are warmer than body temperature), or a croissant with something like 500 layers. But the thing I find impressive about Yakitate (Yakitate = “freshly baked”) is that the science of bread-making is both preserved and not overlooked. For all the breads they would explain how a certain taste, texture, or some other aspect of the bread is achieved, or why an ingredient works the way it does. But that never takes away from the plot or becomes a bore. An example is the goat’s milk substitution in Episode 5: Azuma made bread using milk from a goat instead of a cow. This prevents allergic reactions to milk, because the most common allergen found in cow’s milk (Alpha S1-Casein) is not present in goat’s milk. It was also explained that goat’s milk make bread taste better because it has smaller fat particles, so more of the particles fit into the dough compared to cow’s milk, making the bread more flavorful. Here’s a screen cap of that explanation, so cute:

Bread dough

 

And this scene brought back memories of my recent visit to Kei’s Bakery (but it is reminiscent of many Asian French-inspired bakeries too):

Yakitate

Anyway, highly recommend for anybody remotely interested in breads and pastries – whether you like making them, or just devouring them. It’s an entertaining and hilarious anime, beautifully directed, but one thing that sets it apart is that it is also surprisingly informative. And makes you salivate and want to make bread afterwards. The manga is also available in English now on Amazon.

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One Response

  1. […] inspired by Yakitate!! Japan, I decided it was time to make some bread. Well, it was long overdue anyway, and I had wanted to […]

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