Japanese Melon Pan

What is Melon Pan?

Japanese Melon Pan is a sweet bread pastry that originated in Japan. Despite its name, it doesn’t usually contain melon flavor. Instead, it’s characterized by its cookie crust that resembles the texture of a melon’s skin. 

The inner bread is soft and fluffy, creating a delightful contrast with the crispy exterior. It’s a popular snack and often enjoyed with a variety of fillings or toppings.

The First Melon Pan

The Original Melon Pan

It is said the original Melon Pan was the bread that resembled an oriental melon (マクワウリ) with parallel lines on the crust and was filled with sweet white bean paste called shiroan (白餡) inside. During that time, the oriental melon was sold as “melon,” so they started to call this “Melon Pan.”

The Round Type of Melon Pan

“Melon Pan looks like a Melon”

In the Taisho Era, a similar round bread with biscuit crust was introduced to western and southwestern Japan (Osaka and Hiroshima area), and they named it “Sunrise (サンライズ)” bread. 

Later on, this round Sunrise bread started to be sold as Melon Pan throughout Japan, as the appearance resembles a cantaloupe, which was (and still is) a highly prized fruit.

Sunrise & Melon Pan

Today, if you visit the Kansai area, the rugby ball-shaped bread with white bean paste filling is what they call Melon Pan. They still call the round bread with biscuit crust “Sunrise” bread. 

Various Melon Pan

Melon Pan has inspired various creative variations. “Chocolate Melon Pan” involves adding chocolate to the dough or incorporating chocolate chips, giving it a chocolate twist. 

As for an “ice cream sandwich with Melon Pan,” it typically involves slicing the Melon Pan and using it as a base for an ice cream sandwich. The combination of the sweet, crunchy crust and the cold, creamy ice cream makes for a delightful treat. 

These variations show the adaptability of Melon Pan in different culinary creations.

Variations of Melon Pan

Please check this link:
a guy from overseas found a Melon Pan with ice cream.

Melon-Colored, Melon-Creamed Melon Pan

A Real Melon Pan?

Melon-colored, Melon-creamed Melon Pan likely refers to a version of Melon Pan that incorporates actual melon flavor and color. This could involve using melon extract or puree in the dough and cream, resulting in a genuine melon-infused treat. 

The vibrant color and authentic melon taste provide a unique twist to the traditional Melon Pan, adding a refreshing element to the overall experience.

Final Thoughts

Japanese bakeries have their own accumulated wisdom to create quite original bread to fit our daily meals. Probably it would be difficult to find a bakery that serves French croissants, English loaves, Russian pirozhki, and others all under one roof.

As for Melon Pan, it has already moved away from the original, and it’s quite hard to decide which one is authentic or proper. However, it is a fabulous feature of Japanese cuisine to entertain people with its creativity and satisfaction. 

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