|Alternative names||An toast (あんトースト)|
|Place of origin||Japan|
|Region or state||Aichi Prefecture|
|Created by||Mitsu Ha (満つ葉) Cafe, Sakae, Nagoya-shi|
|Main ingredients||Ogura (adzuki beans), sliced bread|
|Variations||Ogura sandwich (小倉サンド)|
|Similar dishes||Anpan, kaya toast|
Ogura toast consists of thickly-sliced, toasted bread topped with ogura jam, a common sweet spread or filling in Japan. The ogura spread is usually paired with butter or margarine. Occasionally, the ogura and butter may be served on the side, or another slice of toast placed on top to create an ogura sandwich. Another variant, an toast, uses anko, which means that the beans are fully puréed in to a paste. Ogura toast can also be served with a slice of cheese melted on top.
Ogura toast originated at the Mitsu Ha cafe in the Sakae area of Nagoya in 1921 (Taishō 10). In the late Meiji period, Japan began to adopt elements of western culture. By early Taishō the 'high collar' sub-culture (ハイカラ), somewhat analogous to dandyism in Regency Britain, saw a boom as metropolitan Japanese men embraced Europeanised fashion and lifestyle. After the first World War, this movement, combined with a four-fold increase in the price of rice, encouraged Japanese cafés to add toast, seen as a western luxury, to their menus. A shopkeeper at Mitsu Ha noticed customers dipping their toast in zenzai (ogura porridge) and decided to create ogura toast in response. Afterwards, the dish spread across Aichi to become a café staple. Today, Ogura toast is a symbol of Nagoya and the Aichi prefecture, and a popular souvenir from the region is ogura toast langue de chat.
ITV's Joanna Lumley described ogura toast as "the best beans on toast east of the English Channel", and at the 2017 London Japan Matsuri, Nagoya was jokingly awarded the "Alan MacMasters Prize" for toast innovation.
Japanese cafés typically offer "morning service" (モーニングサービス) or "morning set" (モーニングセット), which is a low-cost breakfast menu available only during select morning hours. This is typically a light breakfast with a coffee or milk tea for only the cost of the drink. This concept originated from the Aichi prefecture. The traditional Aichi morning set includes ogura toast and a boiled egg.
Sales outside Aichi prefecture
Ogura toast has recently spread outside of Aichi to other parts of Japan. Convenience store chain Circle K Sunkus sells ogura toast at some locations nationwide. In addition, it is served at restaurants and café chains originating in Nagoya, most notably Komeda Coffee.
- "Nagoya Meshi representative! Ogura Toast History". 愛知県日進市のパン屋カメリヤ (Camelia Bakery in Nisshin, Aichi) (in Japanese).
- "名古屋を知る - 名古屋人は"小倉あん"がお好き (Get to Know Nagoya - Nagoya Loves Ogura)". 名古屋観光情報公式サイト (Nagoya Convention & Visitor's Bureau) (in Japanese).
- "Joanna Lumley's Japan". ITV Press Centre.
- "モーニング (Morning Set)". Komeda Coffee (in Japanese).