Can o' Bread for Breakfast! | パンの缶詰の朝食!

Japanese Canned Bread Vending Machine パンの缶詰自動販売機

Japanese Canned Bread パンの缶詰
"What's for breakfast?" This is a very common question throughout all parts of the modern world. I think, however, that one of the most uncommon answers must be, "A can of bread from the vending machine." This is exactly what I had for breakfast yesterday, though! Here is a vending machine I found in Inokashira Park (井の頭恩賜公園) in Kichijōji (吉祥寺). The products in this machine are called "Pan no Kanzume" (パンの缶詰), literally, "Bread Canned Goods" from a company called Okaneya. So I found this machine; what's the first thing I do? Buy one of course, what else? (^_^) There are four kinds of bread along the bottom for ¥480 (currently about $4.50 USD) each, and along the top, bread "sticks" (which appear to be more like crackers) for ¥250 each.

Japanese Canned Bread パンの缶詰

I chose the Chocolate Chip Bread (チョコチップパン), which is on the bottom left in the title photo; the other three options being Strawberry Bread, Milk Bread and Caramel Bread. All of these are apparently from from Okaneya's "Bonne Chance" product line. The can opens with a pull-tab and there was a loud pop-hiss sound when the can opened which seemed pretty promising, at least I knew it wasn't likely to be dry.

Here's what the product looks like inside the can-- the bread sits upside down in the can so what we're seeing here is the underside, and its standard bakery parchment paper wrapping.

 Japanese Canned Bread パンの缶詰Japanese Canned Bread パンの缶詰

Unfortunately I was not able to get the bread out of the can in on piece. I got the bread about halfway out, and I couldn't manage to free it from the can without getting it stuck in the rim where the pop-top lid used to be. Here's the bottom half of the bread with the parchment paper removed. Not bad eh?

Japanese Canned Bread パンの缶詰

So moving on to the eating part. I was not expecting much. After all, I just bought canned bread from a vending machine. How good could it be, right? Well, very surprisingly good, to be honest! The bread is soft, tender and moist but not at all mushy or overly "spongy." The texture is very similar to Italian Panettone. There is cocoa marbled throughout the bread and mini chocolate chips mixed in. I kinda figured this part might be overwhelming to the point where this experienced moved away from being breakfast and into the dessert category, but that was not the case at all. The only perceivable down-side is that people who really love their bread to have a nice crust would be disappointed, but luckily I am not too picky about that, and such a person would probably know better than to expect that from a canned good anyway. I have had a few experiences in which I purchased "fresh" bakery goods from a coffee shop that were not as good as this!

All this aside, this stuff can't be good for you, right? Well, I suspected as much and so I read the ingredients. Again I was really surprised! The ingredients included several different kinds of flour (including panettone flour which would explain the texture), milk powder, yeast, niacin, chocolate and cocoa! Then the last two in the list; not preferable, but expected, I would say, in a canned good like this-- Sorbitol and some kind of sodium-based preservative (I couldn't read the kanji for this one-- sorry about that). I thought it was probably sodium benzoate, but later I looked up the kanji for sodium benzoate and it wasn't that. I guess I should have photographed the list. That's pretty good I think! The product needs some kind of preservative after all-- the expiration date on the bottom was July 2017.

The verdict-- I would totally eat this again!I would love to try the other flavours. "In fact, what other kinds are available," I wondered. I looked up the company's homepage and found a large selection of bread AND also wine! They also make (not surprisingly) emergency food store items and supplies. Here's a link to their product line-up; pretty damned impressive! I also discovered that Okaneya has been in business since 1936 (昭和11年)! I guess they know what they're doing by now.

After yesterday's experience, I'm now thinking about trying an experiment-- see if it's possible to subsist solely on items purchased from a vending machine for a full day. Stay on the lookout for that in an upcoming post; I'm pretty sure I'm going to do it at some point.

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