As you go to Asakusa, Tokyo, you may find many people eating a roll of bread
called "melon pan."
Asakusa is very famous tourist spot of Tokyo,
with this red temple called Sensoji.
There are a famous melon pan bakery near by the temple,
and many people buy them and eat around there.
The circular shape and checker like pattern is usual form of melon pan.
The word "pan" is coming from French or somewhere around there, which means
bread in Japanese.
Because Japanese people favors soft and sweet bread, which does not need
any spreading to eat. I would say melon pan's sweetness is somewhat like in
between cup cake and normal bread.
The bread is called "melon pan" because of the check pattern on top,
which reminds the pattern on the melon.
So it does not mean containing any melon in side of the roll.
Basic form of melon pans are consist of bread dough covered by cocky dough.
The check pattern is not necessary but very common.
Bakers are using knife or some flat tools to make the pattern.
Also there are special tools to make the pattern as well.
Melon pan is also popular bread you can find in any grocery stores
and convenience stores all around the country.
These packed melon pans I bought near by my house are 100 to 130 Yen.
All bread companies and bakers of Japan have their own recipes of melon pan,
so you can find wide variety of melon pans all over Japan.
Basic melon pan have nothing in side like this.
As you see, the cocky dough is a very thin layer over the bread dough.
Though there are some manufacturers put something inside.
The green one I bought had some sweetened cream (I think it is a
kind of custard cream colored green.)
Because the melon pan is very popular in Japan, it is difficult to find a
bakery nor a grocery store not selling any melon pan at all. Though there
must be some stores sold out their stock.
Melon pan with chocolate chips is a good arrange but
it may be too sweet to eat as a meal.
Still a nice snack for a coffee break.
Small bakers usually sell their melon pan at a bit higher price, but
with better quality and original taste.
This is a cute arrange of melon pan by one baker.
Another example of the melon pan arrange.
These are special melon pan is sold at Tokyo Disney Resort.
I guess this is Mike in the movie Monsters, inc..
(They come out with new design time to time so you may not find this now.)
Lately some people are making very decorative melon pan for fun.
If you wanna see more fancy melon pan, please check out the site below.
So if you have a chance to stop by somewhere in Japan, this is an recommended
food not so Japanezy yet cannot be found in the western world.
This is a video I found from the YouTube, introducing how to bake basic melon pan very nicely.
I have experienced baking melon pan only once with my friend, who loves baking
all kinds of breads, and I learned it is much much easier to buy one at a store.
I would say, it is hell of a lot work I don't need in my everyday life, though,
it was nice to experience for fun. (^ - ^) haha
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