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Baking, Thoughts

In Memory

“My first meeting with this shop was while I was doing a tour of Ishikawa’s bakeries. I wanted to hug the bag I bought the bread in.” Tabelog user はちみっつ、星三つ

My little town of Tsubata isn’t big, and we have little to boast about to the outside world. Travelers heading toward Kanazawa or Toyama may not even notice us as they pass by. But no community is without it gems. Panya Panya, our local bread shop, was one of those gems. The owner passed away unexpectedly in late December, survived by his wife. I can’t claim to have known him or his family beyond the heartfelt “Come again!” as I left, clutching a warm loaf of bread in my hands. All I know about the owner is what was reflected in his shop. But that’s a lot.

Panya Panya was the kind of small, family-run shop that makes up for its lack of size by pouring love into each loaf and every pastry. They may not have carried the sheer number of items that other stores do, but their baked goods were unique to their shop. Their pastries were simple, their bread hearty, far from the white shokupan on which many bakeries in Japan make their reputation. And customers came Kaga and Toyama to try their rich brown German Sourdough.

The whole shop spoke of the owner’s love for what he did. So, to the owner and family of Panya Panya:

You’ve been my inspiration and my comfort food. Thank you.

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Discussion

7 thoughts on “In Memory

  1. Oh no, that’s so sad! You are speaking in past tense… does that mean they are closing the shop forever? That place was the best.

    Posted by Alli | February 8, 2012, 1:31 pm
  2. …Sorry for you and your village’s loss Gromit….I hope the family keeps up the fine tradition….

    Posted by Jay | February 8, 2012, 11:10 pm
  3. I know it’s far from your place, but if you are going one day towards Tsurugi (鶴来, south of Kanazawa) and want to remember this kind of taste, try the あさひ屋ベーカリー. You won’t be disappointed !

    Going there was always a pleasure and my years in Ishikawa would have been much different without this small family bakery, so I share your pain.

    Posted by Julien | February 9, 2012, 8:22 pm
  4. I’m so sorry to hear that. Having real bread was so wonderful. I never ended up being able to go in there on my own, but I hope he knew how much we appreciated the bakery.

    Posted by Leah | February 15, 2012, 8:30 am

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