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Thanks to the way the language works, there are a lot of special holidays celebrated in Japan, such as Eevee Day on November 21 or Twintail Day on February 2. It’s thanks to this clever wordplay that you can update your calendar with your new favourite holiday – Curry Bread Day! Curry Bread (or karepan in Japanese) Day is celebrated on the 8th day of the month, using the the re from kare (can be read as 0) and the pa from pan (can be read as 8).

In order to properly celebrate such a prestigious holiday, our very own Mr. Sato (who incidentally has his own holiday too) decided that simply partaking in some curry bread would not be enough. No, in order to properly give Curry Bread Day the respect it truly deserves, Mr. Sato was going to pit curry bread against each other to see which one would come out on top. While it has been a part of Japanese cuisine for a long time, spicy curry bread is becoming more popular, so we grabbed some from Lawson, Family Mart and 7-Eleven to see which store would claim the title of King of Curry Bread!

In third place was Family Mart’s “Spicy Beef flavoured Curry Bread”. Priced at 130 yen (US$1.25), Family Mart’s curry bread was manufactured by the Yamazaki Bakery Company.

Honourable Judge Mr. Sato struggled when it came to choosing third place. If he was being honest, at a glance the Family Mart curry bread was pretty much interchangeable with the second place contestant (no spoilers!) but the taste of the second place winner appealed to Mr. Sato just a little bit more.

Using a blend of cumin, ginger, pepper and other spices, Mr. Sato definitely agreed that this was a spicy curry bread, but it was also kind of… forgettable. It was fine, kind of like a “if it’s there, then I’ll eat it” level of delicious. Certainly nothing to write home about though.

Taking the second place spot was Lawson’sSpicy Beef Curry Bread”, also costing 130 yen (US$1.25), and also manufactured by the Yamazaki Bakery company. Hmm…

Perhaps the reason Mr. Sato struggled to differentiate between second and third place is because the two curry breads are essentially the same. Same price, same manufacturer, heck; even the names are pretty much the same.

But while the outsides were almost identical, the taste was what set these two apart. With a crispy outer texture, the curry has a slightly sweet taste to it. For Mr. Sato, the Lawson curry bread tasted better than the Family Mart curry bread. Which can only mean that first place goes to…

… the evocatively named “Addictive Curry Bread” from 7-Eleven, just marginally cheaper at 129 yen (US$1.24). But that’s not the only difference, as the 7-Eleven bread is manufactured by the Garden Bakery company.

As soon as Mr. Sato opened the packet, he knew he’d found his winner. The gentle scent of spices wafted tantalisingly to his nose, putting the curry bread firmly in first place.

From the second Mr. Sato put the bread in his mouth, he was immediately met with a tingly tongue from all the spices used in the curry. In fact, the curry filling was so delicious that Mr. Sato contemplated scooping it out and spreading it on some rice, as a kind of curry rice hack. While the other breads had been just fine, this curry bread was enough to make you start drooling just thinking about it. Mr. Sato decided this would be his convenience store curry bread of choice from now on.

And great news for curry fans — while most special holidays in Japan are limited to just one day, Curry Bread Day happens on the 8th day of every month, which means you only have to wait until January 8 to get your Curry Bread Day fix again. Or you know, you can just go and get one to prepare yourself in the meantime!

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