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Alternative names
  • Melon pan
  • Melon bun
  • Melon bread
TypeSweet bun
Place of originJapan
Region or stateEast Asia
Main ingredients

A melonpan (メロンパン, meronpan) (also known as melon pan, melon bun or melon bread) is a type of Japanese sweetbun that is well known across the country and widely popular throughout China and Taiwan. The sweetbun is made from an enriched dough covered in a thin layer of crisp cookie dough. Their appearance resembles a melon, such as a rock melon (cantaloupe). They are not traditionally melon flavored,[1] but in recent times, it has become popular for manufacturers to add melon flavoring to melon bread. Variations exist, including some with a few chocolate chips between the cookie layer and the enriched dough layer, and non-melon versions flavored with caramel, maple syrup, chocolate, or other flavors, sometimes with syrup, whipped or flavored cream, or custard as a filling. In the case of such variations, the name may drop the word "melon", instead replacing it with the name of the contents (such as "maple pan" for a maple syrup flavored bread) or may keep it despite the lack of melon flavor (such as "chocolate melon pan").

The name has a dual etymology, since "melon" is a loan word from English, while "pan"[2] is from the Portuguese word for bread.

In parts of the Kansai, Chūgoku, and Shikoku regions, a variation with a radiating line pattern is called "sunrise", and many residents of these regions call even the cross-hatched melon pan "sunrise".[3]

Melonpan and pineapple bun from Hong Kong are very similar. By comparison, the Japanese style is lighter in weight and taste, slightly drier and has a firmer outer layer (including top cookie crust) which resists flaking, unlike its Hong Kong counterpart, whose top cookie crust tends to flake easily. The Hong Kong version is also moister, and is generally soft on the outside and inside, with a stronger butter flavour.


There are several competing theories about melonpan's origin.


See also


  1. ^ Kazuko, Emi: Japanese Food and Cooking
  2. ^ See Infoseek Japanese-English dictionary for pan/パン[permanent dead link] and Japanese words of Portuguese origin
  3. ^ "'Melon Pan'/'Sunrise' Dialect Survey Map from Nikkei". Archived from the original on 2007-10-12. Retrieved 2007-04-04.
  4. ^ Bakhchinyan, Artsvi (3 October 2019). "The Armenian Who Invented the Japanese Sweet Bun". The Armenian Mirror-Spectator. Retrieved 10 June 2021.
  5. ^ Bakkalian, Nyri (2021-09-21). "Melonpan: The Japan Sweet Bread's Armenian History". Unseen Japan. Retrieved 2023-07-27.
  6. ^ "Hong Kong's Pineapple Bun | Shall we Lotte | Lover of Your Taste Buds - Lotte" (Japanese). Lotte. Accessed on April 19, 2023.
  7. ^ Kazuko Higashishima, The Truth about Melonpan. Kodansha (Kindle), 2007. ASIN B08MF2LH4C.
  8. ^ Kazuko Higashishima, The Truth about Melonpan. Kodansha (Kindle), 2007. ASIN B08MF2LH4C.