Friday, December 3, 2010

tapioca bread

my 81-year old friend, who has lived through the 2nd world war and the japanese occupation, was lamenting on how wasteful the younger generation are when it comes to food. he was telling me that the edges of the bread that the young people discard would have been savoured by people of his generation. just the whiff of the gluten bread coming from the bakery was enough to set people of his generation dreaming of the actual stuff.

they could only dream of eating the wheat bread that we take for granted today. during the japanese occupation, while the conquerors ate the bread made from gluten flour, they had to make do with bread made from tapioca flour.

according to him, mashed corn was added to the dough. the bread was so hard, if you dropped it, it could bounce off the ground. it was not very palatable but for survival sake, they had to eat. sometimes, they would cut the unfinished bread into strips and fry them. then the bread strips would become 'keropok' or what we call crackers.

i have heard that during the war years and the occupation period, the diet of the local people consisted mainly of tapioca and sweet potato. what i did not know was that the tapioca flour could be used for making bread and even noodles.

but the hard times that he went through during the occupation has fortified him and taught him valuable life skills.


Uncle Lee said...

Hi YG, love this bread. And yes, I have eaten this wayyyy back those years.
I still remember when the Japanese was around, and I don't mean Hondas or Toyotas, my father, grandfather planted lots of tapioca and sweet potatos, corn and other vegetables.

We were then in seclusion deep in the estates to escape the 'Banzai's'! Ha ha ha.
Have a nice day, Lee.

yg said...

lee, i have not eaten tapioca bread before. according to my friend, it tasted very bland.