Pumpkin Rice Flour Bread

Brand: Lawson Bakery

Cost: 130 yen

Found At: Lawsons

It’s autumn, I am a white woman, and if you think I would pass up a gluten-free, pumpkin-flavored muffin, then you don’t truly understand the experience of a white woman in the autumn. I’m not even gluten-intolerant!

            There is something wonderful about being able to connect with my pumpkin-loving, wheat-hating culture so far from home. In the deluge of sweet potato flavor, the Japanese have made space for a soft, squishy, bready homage to the flavor traditions of another culture. It’s not exactly the same – including the pumpkin but excluding the spice – but there is something so warm in the gesture. I feel welcomed and wanted by my host country through the medium of this little, fluffy pound cake filled with chunks of boiled Japanese pumpkin. There’s nothing exceptional about it, but it’s not too sweet and the rice-flour means it keeps moist and fresh, even after being left open overnight. It’s tasty and festive and – most importantly – there’s not a gluten protein in sight. It’s like I’m home, for Halloween!

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