What is a Melon Pan?

A Melon Pan is a kind of Japanese bread roll.

What is it actually?

A bread roll, with a sweet, crusty yellow topping. There is no filling, unless you put one there yourself.

What does it taste like?

It’s a bread roll, ever so slightly sweet due to the crusty topping giving it a cake-y taste. To be honest, if you are used to soft fluffy European bread, you’ll find Melon Pan to be dry and stale. It’s very similar to the Chinese Pineapple Bun. It does not taste of melon or contain melon.

How did it get its name?

The squares of the sweet, crusty topping sort of, kind of, look like the inside of a melon that has been diced and folded inside out, if you squint. Pan is Japanese for bread or bun, coming from the French word for bread: pain.

Where can I find it?

Bakeries throughout Japan, and Japanese Supermarkets around the world.

What food that I am familiar with does it taste like?

Stale bread crossed with plain cake.

Is it worth getting out of my comfort zone to try?


This article is part of our Fussy Eater’s Guide to Japanese Food. Find more Fussy’s Eater’s Guides in our main menu!