Kanpan: Japanese Hardtack as Emergency Food

Japan is the land of earthquakes and typhoons, so many people have emergency food at home just in case. 

In fact, in a closet of my house, there is a bunch of instant cup ramen, instant miso soup, bottles of water, and so on for such natural disasters, and what I introduce here “Kanpan (乾パン)” is also among them.

Kanpan (乾パン)

Sanritsu Seike Kanpan

Literally meaning “dry bread” in Japanese, “Kanpan (乾パン, カンパン)” is the Japanese take on the Western hardtack.

The Japanese version of hardtack, Kanpan is said to have first been made in 1842 as a portable food for the military and used in the time of emergencies. 

Even now, Kanpan is favored in Japan as emergency food and is available in various varieties.

Sanritsu Kanpan Biscuits

For example, these Kanpan biscuits are from Sanritsu Seika, a confectionery company in Hamamatsu known for Genji Pie, and one of the most popular commercial hardtack in Japan. 

Baked in a far-infrared oven, the light brown biscuit is like a plain cracker, neither that sweet nor too hard, and the calories per piece are about 10 kcal. 

The Kanpan has a hint of sesame flavor and is easy to digest and contains 520 mg calcium per bag (200 grams). 

Freshness Date and Price 

Although the freshness date of the packaged Kanpan snack is only one year, that of its canned version is 5 years.

By the way, the manufacturer’s suggested retail price of the canned Kanpan (100 grams) is 260 yen (about 2.4 USD).


Sanritsu Kanpan Japanese Hardtack Snack Ingredients

Lastly, let’s see the ingredients. Based on the list pictured above, the Kanpan bread from Sanritsu is made mainly with wheat flour, sugar, shortening, sesame, salt, dextrose, and yeast. 

(Reference Page: Wikipedia 乾パン )


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

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