Date of Issue: August 2022 Issue of Bakery Japan  Category: Reports

California Raisin Association in Japan Holds 30th Annual Raisin Bread Contest

The judges and the 19 finalists are gathered together.

Ms. Irie Takato from Fujipan(rigth) and Mr. Yusuke Ide of Pompadour(left)

"Love a Bite of Milky Raisin" by Ms. Irie Takato from Fujipan won the California Raisin Grand Prize in the industrial
baking category.

"Raisin Feuille" by Mr. Yusuke Ide of Pompadour won the
California Raisin Grand Prize in the artisan product category.
On June 10 through 11, the California Raisin Association in Japan held the 30th annual Raisin Bread Contest at the Japan Institute of Baking in Edogawaku, Tokyo- Japan, where 19 finalists gathered to compete in the artisan, and industrial baking categories. They had been chosen from a total of 117 initial entries submitted by professional bakers from all over Japan.

In the industrial baking category, the California Raisin Grand Prize was awarded to "Love a Bite of Milky Raisin" by Ms.,iriye Takato, of Fujipan, a major bread wholesaler in Japan, and in the artisan product category to "Raisin Feuille" by Mr. Yusuke Ide of Pompadour, a major retail bakery chain in Japan.
"Love a Bite of Milky Raisin" is a product that combines custard cream and mildly sweet raisins to create a taste that is hard to resist once you take a bite. The raisins are soaked in milk and vanilla liqueur, to bring out their mild and gentle sweetness. Raisin paste and minced raisin soaked in rum and are also added to enhance the flavor of the raisins.

The brioche dough contains margarine with fermented butter and fermented panettone leaven, with melt-in-your-mouth cream, added to resemble tarte tropézienne.

"I focused on how to bring out the sweetness and deliciousness of California raisins," said Ms. Irie Takato. Among the ingredients that go well with raisins, custard cream is my favorite, so I thought about how to make the raisins taste their best when combined with custard cream."

"Raisin Feuille" is a product baked with California raisins and other ingredients kneaded into the dough. The raisins are soaked in matcha liqueur, to add a matcha flavor, and the sourness of strawberries is added to bring out the sweetness of the raisins.

Mr. Yusuke Ide, said, "When I was getting my hair cut at a hair salon, I thought the shape of my hair looks like the shape of grape leaves and veins, which lead me to the idea of developing the product. If we were to win the contest and launch the product nationwide, we need to mass produce the product, which is why we developed the product in the way it can be produced on a large scale.

The Contest was judged by Mr. Jeff McNeill, representative of the California Raisin Association in Japan, Mr. Kazuo Nishimura, bakery consultant, Mr. Naoki Takae, teacher of Ecole de Patisserie de Tokio, Mr. Yoshiyuki Ito, teacher of Tsuji Confectionery College, Mr. Mutsumi Watanabe, bakery consultant, Mr. Yutaka Yamazaki, bakery consultant, and Mr. Masashi Takaya, representative of Japan's Bread Papers Association.

Mr. Ito, one of the judges, commented, "Every year there are many high-level entries in this contest, and this year I tasted many of them, and they all have very high quality. In the judging of the industrial baking category, many of the judges were surprised to see many products were to be sold at very low prices. There were many entries that were both cost effective and delicious. In the artisan products category, many of the products this year were hearth breads, and many of them fully utilized the characteristics of California raisins."