Curry toast is just the beginning…the delicious, delicious beginning.

Usually, when you buy curry at a grocery store in Japan, it comes in one of two forms: a solid block of roux that you melt down in a pot to cook, or a pure liquid in a vacuum pouch that you heat up in the microwave. But Japanese specialty grocer Caldi has introduced a new kind of curry, one that you spread on a slice of bread with a knife like you would with peanut butter or jam.

Called the Nutte Yaitara Curry Pan, or “Spread It, Bake It, and It Turns Into Curry Bread,” this is a 110-gram (3.9-ounce) container of curry spread. It’s become one of Caldi’s most popular items, and we had to go to several branches before we find one where it wasn’t completely sold out.

When we did, we quickly snatched up a tub, paid the 306 yen (US$2.95), and hurried back home to try it. Popping the top reveals a surprisingly light, creamy color that looks more like hummus than curry.

But while looks can be deceiving, smells are routinely honest, and this definitely smells like curry!

We wasted no time slathering a piece of bread, then popped it into the toaster over for two and a half minutes. When time was up…

…we were surprised to see that the spread had taken on the familiar color of curry. What’s more, it had formed a slightly crisp top layer while cooking, reminiscent of the fried curry bread sold in Japanese bakeries, but without the deep-fried oiliness.

We took a bite, and were welcomed not only with a pleasing crunch, but a fantastic curry flavor. In addition to curry, the spread also has dried onion and mashed potato, and the team effort makes for a savory sensation that’s comfort-food soothing with a touch of complexity, just like great curry bread should be.

If you know much about Japan’s love affair with curry, though, you’ll know that curry bread is just one way Japan enjoys the stuff. There’s also, of course, curry rice, so next we decided to see if Kaldi’s curry spread was up to recreating that dish.

After dishing up some white rice, we added a covering of curry spread and once again fired up our toaster over for two and a half minutes.

However, and maybe we should have seen this coming, the result wasn’t the soupy stew that Japanese-style curry rice is. When baking, Caldi’s curry spread hardens, and so once again we had a crispy top layer.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though, because yet another way that Japan likes to eat curry is as part of doria, or baked rice dishes, and this was about the easiest batch of curry doria we’d ever made, with a nice bit of crunch and plenty of flavor.

Now we’re curious to see what else Caldi’s curry spread is capable of, but for the time being we’ve already got two quick, mouth-watering choices to choose from, and maybe we don’t need any more temptations just yet.

Photos © SoraNews24
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