We all know Panko is a variety of breadcrumb that makes fried food extremely crispy. But the burning question everyone has is, why does it look like that and how is it different from the regular old breadcrumbs? Well, you’re lucky cuz I love researching and writing about nerdy topics. And obviously, this article will definitely answer those questions.
Did you know Panko is actually pronounced PAANKO!! The term Pan which means bread is said to be introduced by the 16th-century Portuguese Traders when they came to Japan for trading. They brought with them the modern wheat that we consume now to Japan. But the rise in the popularity of wheat is attributed to the Sino-Japanese War during the late 1800s when there was a rice shortage.
Here’s a peculiar bit of food history for you, panko breadcrumbs were invented by the soldiers when they actually shocked the dough instead of baking it (cuz there’s no oven in a warzone DUH). The soldiers apparently connected the dough to the tank battery and cooked it. This process actually cooks the bread from the inside out rather than the conventional method which cooks from the outside and when cooked it resembles paneer rather than actual bread, it literally has no crust lol.
Cooking it from the inside gives it a very airy crumb compared to regular breadcrumbs and it gives out a lot of oil after frying and stays crispy for a very long time. Panko is FOOL-PROOF. Due to an airy crumb people prefer using Panko as a binder for making meatballs and stuff as it absorbs a lot of moisture.
Not panko Panko
Why does Panko look like that?
Well, you get those iconic slivers of breadcrumbs when you ferment and bake them properly. It has more to do with the fermentation and baking process rather than the peculiar method of cooking. Proper fermentation helps it to develop a good gluten network (wheat protein).
Well sorry for making you a food nerd like me but I don’t feel bad dough! Hah get it I replaced though with dough.