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Living in Kyoto


By July 8, 20152 Comments

Does anyone in the USA remember the simple pleasure of  sinking one’s teeth effortlessly into a piece of tender white bread?  bread I’m here to shout that the self-denial and accompanying snobbishness of turning up our collective noses at white bread is not justified, simply because of the great pleasure it returns when eaten.

The Japanese have taken white bread consumption to a whole new level of pleasure.

As an American, when you first see that all white rectangle of gluten, you immediately go, “Wha???!!” Then, as you learn to trust Japanese culinary taste and talent, you start to think that you might be missing out on something. You also consider the fact, that the Japanese are much more slender than Americans, appear quite healthy, and apparently are none the worse for eating white bread!

When my husband brought home the above package of sliced, one inch thick white bread, four slices to a package, I was secretly delighted.

Waking up early this morning, I made a beeline to our kitchen and that cute package waiting on the counter.

It was everything I remembered from childhood times ten.  Those were the days when I could eat a whole package of Wonder Bread in one sitting and enjoy the fun of playing with its texture by smooshing it down with the palm of my hand until it was wafer thin.  Something, I imagined, like a communion wafer.

wonder bread

I did not play with my white bread this morning.  Just popped that baby into my mouth and savored every easy bite of blandness, refinement and gentility it represents.

p.s. It makes great toast, too.  WITH BUTTER!!!!!

Dianne Vapnek

In an attempt to slow life's quickening pace, I'm writing to share my personal perspective on the aging process, its dilemmas, the humorous self-deception, the insights and the adventure of it all. I spent the bulk of my time in beautiful Santa Barbara, CA, but manage to get to NYC a few times times a year. I've been a dancer/dance teacher and dance supporter almost all my life. For the past20years, I help create and produce a month-long creative residency in Santa Barbara for contemporary American choreographers and their dancers. It's been incredibly gratifying. This year, I decided it's time to retire! Big change. I also now spend several weeks a year in Kyoto Japan, residing for several weeks in the spring and the fall. I've been magnetically attracted to Japan for many years. Now I live out a dream to live there part-time.


  • Judi Wallner says:

    Oh I’m SO jealous…love that squishy texture. Have you tried making french toast with it? That would be heaven itself! Let me know when you’re back in the US and I’ll call you. xxx

  • mark dendy says:

    in the south. we have these little tea sandwiches water cress and cream cheese ( a shmear) olive and cream cheese. and seer ones as well. they at a made from two slives of white bread cut in quarters with the crusts cut off. an dtehy are served with punch (gingery ale and orate juice or some other juice with sherbet floating in the middle or with tea.. it is classic southern. even tho i don’t eat whtie bread any more except for fresh challah i will never turn down one of these tea sandwiches when home in weaverville. usually served at a special occasion. ( anniversary, church reception for a missionary who’s home to visit, rot a ladies luncheon. bridge club or retirement. yum yum

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