died in the wool ______

To have no set purpose in one's life is the harlotry of the will -Stephen Mackenna-

Saturday, October 29, 2005

openfaced schwarzbrot:bavarian blue w/miznua

This is really know suprise, but Japan is somewhat lacking in the bread department. What most may not know is that there is bread in most places throughout the country. Sadly, it is always something known as shokupan. Shokupan is essentially wonderbread cut very thick. Japanese (supposedly) love it because of it's pure whiteness. There are slight variations (some with flecks of walnuts or wheat grain, etc) but it's all essentially the same stuff.

My host mother when I was a student here, studied in germany, so she always had good hearty germanish breads around for us to eat. Even in some of the other places I've lived, I've been able to find some decent wheat breads to eat my sandwiches (crust and all; most sandwiches here cut the crust off).

Thanks to the German bakery Juchheim in the basement of Maru biru, I've now been formally introduced to Schwarzbrot. It's very dark/black like pumpernickel, but much more dense with white flecks that look like rice in it. The density of the bread makes it much more limp than more yeasty breads, but the flavor is much more intense, and more enjoyable to me actually.

Eating it straight was a treat, but I was hosting a little dinner get together, and I wanted to do something fun with it. I walked over to the nearby Meidi-ya also in the basement of Maru-biru, and decided to look at there cheese selection. They had the usual stuff, but one of them stood out to me for some reason; bavarian blue. Perhaps I've erased memories that I simply bought it for its price, but I am sure glad I bought it, whatever reason it ended up being. Bavarian blue, as the name suggests, is a mold cheese, but it's only a very subtle mold flavor. It's very close in consistency to a camembert-type cheese, The flavor is hard to explain, but it tastes very...fresh. The high fat content of the soft cheese mixing with the mold makes it have a very light flavor actually.

As I constantly say, I really like Japanese greens, and on those recently rare times I make sandwiches. Mizuna is my choice of green. Mizuna leaves are jagged much like a dandelion's would be and unlike lettuce are somewhat bitter. The stems of the mizuna, unlike other sandwich greens, are very thin and very fibrous and watery. I often try to add equal parts of the stem and leaf for both flavors.

Mixing the denseness of the schwarzbrot with the lightness of the bavarian blue and crisp bitterness of the mizuna (and a dash off pepper) makes this delcious! I endded up eating all the ingredients I bought in one sitting. This has become a favorite of mine when I have spare cash (cheese and the like are naturally a tad expensive here) or entertaing (it looks pretty quartered on a plate)

Schwarzbrot from Juchheim in Maru-biru
Bavarian Blue from Meidi-ya in Maru-biru
Mizuna avaliable anywhere in Japan or other Asian grocery stores


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