Karepan gets a specialty upgrade at this renowned bakery.

Our reporter K. Masami loves curry bread, or “karepan” as it’s known in Japan. She also loves Kyoto pickles, which are famous throughout Japan as being a cut above other pickles, and her all-time favourite is shibazuke, a mixture made with eggplant, perilla leaves, ginger, young ginger, and cucumber, all pickled in plum vinegar.

So as soom as Masami heard that Kyoto’s long-established bakery Shinshindo had added shibazuke to their curry bread, she immediately set out to try one. When she arrived at her nearest branch, she saw another bread called “Suguki Piroshiki” on display beside the karepan, so in the end she came home with two new specialty breads to try.

▼ Shibazuke Karepan (left), and Suguki Piroshiki (right), priced at 300 yen (US$2.18) each.

Masami warmed them both up in the microwave and couldn’t resist trying the curry bread first. It had a beautiful-looking golden-fried exterior, and a faint curry aroma, which really whet the appetite.

Cutting it in half, Masami expected there to be a lot of dough and very little filling inside, but instead, it was the other way around — a thin casing of dough and a big mound of curry.

To Masami’s delight, this bread didn’t just hold a lot of curry, but a whole lot of shibazuke as well. Taking a big bite, she found that her beloved pickle was the star of the show, with its flavour singing out above the sweet taste of curry and fried bread, and she couldn’t get enough of it.

Now wishing she’d bought another karepan, Masami turned her attention to the other bread on her plate, the Suguki Piroshiki.

Piroshiki is the Japanese version of Pirozhki, a Russian and Ukrainian filled bun that’s popular throughout Eastern Europe. The one Masami bought was filled with Suguki, a turnip-like vegetable that’s a famous specialty of Kyoto, and it was much more subdued in flavour than the curry bread.

It wasn’t as impactful as the Shibazuke Curry Bread, but it was delicious in its own right. Both the breads were expertly made, and filled with quality ingredients that express the pride of Kyoto.

Masami would love to see these specialty breads become more well known amongst visitors to the ancient capital, so if you’re ever passing by a Shinshindo, be sure to stop by and give them a try. And don’t forget to pick up a can of cake while you’re in the area!

Reference: Shinshindo Shibazuke curry bread
Photos © SoraNews24

● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
[ Read in Japanese ]