Japan picks its favorite type of bread, but was the contest a fair fight?

You can’t make a sandwich without bread. Sure, you can use other foodstuffs to hold everything together, but then it’s no longer a sandwich. Substitute lettuce for the bread, for example, and it’s a “wrap.”

But while we can all agree that a sandwich has bread, does that mean a sandwich is bread? We’d have said no, which is why the results of a recent survey in Japan didn’t sit well with our Japanese-language reporter P.K. Sanjun.

The poll was conducted by Line Research, an offshoot of the popular Line messaging app, and asked “What kind of bread do you like?” Respondents were allowed to give up to five answers, and when the results were tallied from 5,254 participants between the ages of 10 and 69, and the top five were:

5. Shokupan (27.9 percent)
4. Curry bread (30.7 percent)
3. Hamburger (39.4 percent)
2. Croissant (39.7 percent)
1. Sandwich (43.9 percent)

Before we go any further, let’s take a moment for a bit of linguistics background. In Japanese, the word for “bread” is pan. For example, the number-five response, shokupan, is what Japan calls the typical bread used for making toast or sandwiches.

▼ Shokupan

Shokupan is clearly bread, as are croissants. Curry bread (or “curry pan”) is sort of a gray area. On one hand, its curry filling makes it more than just wheaty carbs, but it’s also a completely enclosed piece of bread. Plus it’s got “bread” right there in the name.

▼ Curry bread

But hamburgers and sandwiches? Putting them in a contest for types of “bread” doesn’t seem like a fair fight to P.K. The arsenal of meats, cheeses, and vegetables burgers and sandwiches can employ is like giving a boxer the option to bring brass knuckles, a flamethrower, and an attack dog into the ring.

As a man with a strong sense of justice, P.K. couldn’t let this gross transgression of competitive fairness go unchallenged. So he did the only non-sensible thing he could by calling up Line Research and asking them to explain themselves.

P.K. : “Hey, Line Research! What’s the big idea letting hamburgers and sandwiches be part of the ‘favorite bread’ rankings?!?”

Line Research: “Thank you for your inquiry. This survey was about bread in a broad, comprehensive sense, and so we did not set exact standards or definitions.”

P.K.: “I mean, just think about how shokupan must feel for a second. It doesn’t have any kind of fighting chance, and now it’s stuck down there at number five!”

▼ Poor shokupan…

Line Research: “Yes, I hear what you’re saying. For the purposes of this survey, though, we simply allowed all of the sorts of things you might find in a bakery of the bread aisle of a supermarket or convenience store.”

P.K.: “Well, sure, they do sell sandwiches at bakeries…”

Line Research: “You could say the survey results simply show how diverse people’s love for bread is.”

P.K. can’t really argue with that last part, but if he were calling the shots, he’d disqualify both sandwiches and burgers, and award the king of breads crown to croissants, second place to curry bread (with an asterisk), and give shokupan a podium promotion to third place.

Source: Line Research
Photos ©SoraNews24
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[ Read in Japanese ]