Hungry for a Meme? Try Japan's ‘English French Toast’

The original English Toast. Photo by Flickr user Hajime NAKANO. CC BY 2.0

The original English Toast. Photo by Flickr user Hajime NAKANO. CC BY 2.0

A local Japanese delicacy is causing consternation on the Internet. “English French Toast,” a version the “English Toast” snack popular in Aomori, Honshu's northernmost prefecture, has left some people scratching their heads over the mash-up of nationalities. 

Japanese prefectures typically produce their own local treats that are hard to get if you live anywhere else. In this case, the concept of English French Toast seems to be hard to understand for people living outside of Aomori.

“English Toast,” a standard Aomori snack, has been popularized in recent years all over Japan as a must-have treat with a slight twist. The Aomori original has been transformed into something unrecognizable: “English French Toast.” 

The original English Toast popular with Aomori residents consists of two slices of plain thickly sliced white bread covered in a thin layer of margarine. Sugar is sprinkled on the margarine and two slices are then folded together to make a sort of sandwich.

Aomori's English Toast serves as the basis for several different varieties of convenience store snack:

Here are all the different kinds of English Toast I have been able to find so far.

What makes English French Toast different is that it includes custard, but not granulated sugar. It doesn't always appear to be savoury.

They're selling pudding-flavored English French Toast. I'm having it for breakfast tomorrow!

Even in monolingual Japan, English French Toast doesn't seem to have translated well outside of Aomori:

This Aomori-only (?) bread is becoming a bit of an Internet meme. There are a bunch of different legitimate varieties of Aomori's English Toast, but English French Toast just seems comical.(^ω^)

The somewhat contradictory nature of the treat's name seems to have become a minor Internet meme.

This is the first time I have ever eaten Kudopan's English Toast. Even though I'm from Aomori I've never eaten it. With English French Toast,  it's like they decided to name it without being able to decide if it's from England or it's from France. BTW, it's not actually toast, either.  


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