This post took a bit of research. The problem? Katakana words.
I received this bread from my host sister for Christmas. In katakana, it is called "kugurofu raru" (now just by hearing it, you know it is a foreign word, but how do you spell it in English?)
I typed in the katakana word into Yahoo Japan hoping that someone had an English spelling of it...(yeah!! some one had it) It is spelled two ways, Kouglof or Kougelhopf (coo-ghel-hof). The next step was to find out what "raru" was...this is where the research took MAJOR time. Since Kouglof was a French word, I figured that "raru" must be too. Japanese is tricky because sometimes they pair words from different languages together (some apartments have names like "maison de matsui", but in katakana it is written and pronounced "maizon do matsui").
Since the bread had bacon or ham in it, I tried to find the pronunciation of both words, but couldn't find one with a voice recording of the pronunciation. I then tried typing in the katakana word "raru" into Yahoo Japan and got lucky...it is actually short for lardoons (cubes of fatty bacon sometimes used in French salads)...(whew!)
So now that I knew what I was dealing with, I had to find out more about kouglof...Kouglof is usually a sweetened yeast bread w/currants and almonds. It is found in the Alsace region of France and the mold that it is baked in, is usually a terracotta type mold, shaped like a crown. It is very similar to the bundt pan. Kouglof is also found in Switzerland, South Germany and Austria. Most of the entries on the internet seemed to say that this version of bread is eaten at Christmastime.
Kouglof Lardoons is a bread baked using the mold with pieces of bacon and walnuts in it. It was made by Mikage Takasugi, a well-known shop in the Kobe/Osaka area. The main shop is in Mikage, you can also find his desserts in several department stores and at other shops around the Kobe area.
Since the bread had bits of ham in it, I decided to serve it with some vegetable soup and a salad.
1491-1 Azashironomae (not too sure of pronunciation) Mikagemachi
Open: 10am - 8pm
Closed on Tuesdays