Why Japanese pay 250 euros for a single-slice toaster

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TO-ST1

The device from Mitsubishi is some Japanese worth the equivalent of 250 euros.

(Photo: Mitsubishi Electric)

TokyoFor centuries, Japanese have been on an everlasting quest for culinary perfection. The most recent example is a toaster from the engineering group Mitsubishi Electric for the equivalent of 250 euros. For this princely sum, he roasts only a slice of bread, but with all sorts of technical refinements that have borrowed the engineers partly from the rice cooker technique.
Even the design of the TO-ST1 looks noble. The device is closed like a waffle iron, but looks more like a fine Bento box with its imitation wood on the lid. However, the shape fulfills even a function beyond the aesthetic: Since the toaster seals the bread, the moisture does not evaporate like in normal roasters, but remains flavor-enhancing in the bread.

Heating plates then provide a maximum of 260 degrees Celsius for even roasting, various programs for the preferred degree of browning. Also recipes for French and Pizzatoast deliver the Japanese in the box.
The device should, so it says in the promotional material, provide a "new experience" in the enjoyment of bread, explain the company deniers the concept. It is the youngest spawn of Kaizen. The steady improvement in the kitchen. "You should be surprised when they open the lid." Surprised by the sweet smell of the bread, the fluffy consistency inside and the juicy taste.

Expensive box office hit

Apparently Mitsubishi Electric has hit the taste buds of the Japanese with the expensive toaster. In the toaster sales ranking of the price comparison site Kakaku.com the device was still four weeks after the sales start in fourth place. It had to be only Mittelklassetoastern beaten for the equivalent of 80 €. The first cheap device for 30 euros ranked only seventh. And this penchant for expensive equipment is not in the least surprising when you know the devotion of the Japanese to food.
Even shopping is an experience. Vegetables and fruits in the supermarkets are almost perfect, strawberries are shiny and neatly aligned in their shells. Even cooks do not seem to have the right to prepare a meal, but to refine the ingredients to a global top level. And that also applies to imported kitchen.
Again and again, Japanese win barista or pizza competitions in Italy. Bakers and butcher groups in turn like to have their goods labeled with a seal of the German Agricultural Cooperative, because the Japanese think of bread, cakes and sausage to Germany. In 2018, 156 meat products from Japan were awarded with golden DLG seals.

At the restaurant visit, the culinary delight continues logically. Because for centuries the Japanese also value restaurants according to their quality. The annual ranking of the best noodle shops in the country on TV takes hours and has a massive impact. Long queues form in front of the "best" noodle shops because the Japanese are always in search of the best culinary kick.

Waiting for an hour for ten minutes Ramen noodle slurping is obviously acceptable. And so it is no wonder that Tokyo alone has more starred restaurants than France. Meanwhile, gourmets from all over the world make pilgrimages to this culinary pilgrimage site. Even tourists with small stock exchanges do not have to live on. Even the average kitchen is so high in quality that I always say, "If one is disappointed in the restaurant in Japan, then usually at a high level."

A cooking program for every variety of rice

This food culture also explains why Japanese people are willing to spend large sums on new kitchen appliances. Another example is rice cookers. The upper class costs around 1000 euros. The devices then offer vacuum or pressure cooking, blown in 220 degrees hot steam and special cooking programs for up to 50 different Japanese rice varieties, so that each grain can develop its full aroma.
In addition, customers can easily decide on the upmarket models whether they would prefer to taste their rice harder or softer, stickier or looser. And progress never stops. Rice cookers have been popular for about two years, reducing rice's carbohydrate content by 30 percent.

For all the love of food and Japanese look for ways to stay slim, at least as long as the taste is still right. The effort sounds perhaps a bit exaggerated, but fulfills a real economic purpose: With ever new high-tech in the kitchen, Japan's technology companies despite Chinese cheap competition can still achieve profits and survive.

More: While Germany is discussing the speed limit. Are the Japanese already one step further? They are slowing down private traffic and promoting mass transit.

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. (TagsToTranslate) world history (t) Mitsubishi (t) Japan (t) Toaster (t) Food (t) Cooking (t) Gastronomy

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