Meet Balmuda - the minimalistic aesthetic kitchen appliance of your dreams

05 Dec 2023 04:02pm
The sleek Balmuda the toaster and the pot in matte black
The sleek Balmuda the toaster and the pot in matte black
KUALA LUMPUR - To the untrained eye, Balmuda the toaster looks like a sleek little oven, but what comes out of it is both a little unbelievable and magical: perfectly toasted bread.

Balmuda, a small appliance maker based in Tokyo’s suburbs, has taken an ordinary kitchen appliance — the toaster — and turned it into a high-tech gadget. Using steam and carefully calibrated heat cycles, it transforms store-bought bread into something that smells, tastes and feels like it popped out of a baker’s oven.

With at least a three-month wait in stores, the gadget has become a quiet hit, even though the manufacturer hasn’t bought ads or aired any commercials since it debuted in June — an unusual glimmer of innovation in a country that once wooed consumers with Walkmans, digital cameras and flat-panel TVs.

It was at a company picnic on a rainy day, warming bread on a grill, that company founder Gen Terao and his band of product designers accidentally made great toast. After the showers stopped, they tried to reproduce it in a parking lot and realised that water was the key. Thousands of slices later, they figured out that steam traps moisture inside the bread while it’s being warmed at a low temperature. The heat is cranked up just at the end, giving it a respectable crust.

Balmuda recently launched two revolutionary kitchen appliances, The Toaster and The Pot, here in Malaysia. Promising to redefine Malaysian's culinary experiences, these appliances bring the essence of Gen's culinary journey from Japan to homes in Kuala Lumpur and beyond.

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"Eating can bring so much joy, energy and connection with friends and family, many will agree that the kitchen is the heart of a home and so Balmuda aims to make the kitchen more fun and exciting," said Visionary Solutions co-founder and executive director Lim Pei Yan, the sole distributor of Balmuda Malaysia.

Lim went on to add that the innovations created by Gen who journeyed from the Mediterranean to Tokyo promises to shape the way we experience the art of cooking. In Gen's world, every toast, every meal is an opportunity for a memorable moment and a better life.

"Malaysians loved food, but we live very busy lives and more often than not, don't have time to cook or enjoy a fresh and hearty breakfast. Instead, they end up resorting to a piece of overnight toast.

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"Wouldn't it be wonderful to bring that stale bread back to its original freshness and crispness? With this toaster, you can! It's just like having your personal baker with you all the time!" Lim said.

Known as "the toaster that brings dead bread back to life" in South Korea, it comes with a unique feature that can transform ordinary and overnight breads and pastries into fresh bakes.

What makes this toaster unique is the 5cc of water that's poured in at the beginning of each toasting session. Heating more rapidly than air, the steam locks in the bread's inner moisture before the surface ends up with its golden-brown finish.

The temperature is precisely controlled through second-by-second control of three temperature zones, which in turn creates the superb contrast of flavour and texture — crisp and savoury on the outside, and a moist and fluffy inside.

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