And now for something completely different.

We spend an awful lot of time in Europe on this blog. Given that, it seems well past time that we took at trip to the other side of the other pond and did something a little different. This week we’ll be making a Japanese delicacy by the name of melon pan. Sure, I scarcely know what it is and have no experience making it. But since when has that ever stopped me? Should be fun!

9 thoughts on “And now for something completely different.”

  1. Ooh! That’s exciting! Every summer I get WAY more melons than I know what to do with from my CSA, and I’m always trying (and failing) to turn them into baked goods of some sort. The only recipe I’ve seen for melon pan uses melon extract – are you planning to use real fruit instead?

  2. What is the relationship between melon pan (and its Asian relatives) and the Mexican pan dulce known as conchas? There seem far too many similarities for it to be a case of convergence. Surely they share a (historically fairly recent) common ancestor?

    1. As far as I know it’s a coincidence, but I wouldn’t rule out a connection. There were Mexican bakeries in my old neighborhood that made those shell rolls, but I don’t think they had a cookie crust, just lots of sugar. However they did indeed look very similar to melon pan.

      1. The topping on conchas is crumbly rather than crisp, but it’s made of fat, sugar, flour, and flavoring. Add an egg to bind it, and it would be cookie dough. The buns are constructed the same way: the topping is divided into portions, rolled into circles, applied to the shaped bun dough, and scored in a shell-like or criss-cross design. I make them from time to time.

        I know Japan has had Iberian cultural influences by way of the Philippines, which has a strong sweet-bread baking tradition of its own. Where did Japanese yeasted wheat-flour baking come from, anyway? It’s certainly not indigenous.

        1. These days French baking is a heavy influence on Japan, but if you want to go all the way back, it was the Portuguese who first introduced Western breads to Japan. See the most recent post for more on that! 😉

  3. You have no idea how excited I am about this! I’ve always wanted to try melon pan, and I trust that you’ll do it justice.

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